Monday, April 30, 2007

Mikhail (Der Fuehrer's Face, Oliver George Wallace)

Re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it suddenly occurred to me who Mikhail, one of my favorite Others, reminds me of: Mad-Eye Moody. They both are gruff, have a distinct accent, are seriously unhinged and have only one normally functioning eye. We know that Moody did a lot of noble work once; we're not so sure about Mikhail, but if he was a medic, at the least he probably patched up quite a few people. I probably shouldn't like Mikhail, but I do. I was very much looking forward to meeting him after he showed up on that television screen, and he was every bit as interesting as I'd hoped. I was most displeased with John for shoving him across that barrier. Did Patchy really deserve that? I don't think so... Anyway, here's my little ode to Mikhail, to the tune of Der Fuehrer's Face.


Who's the surly medic in a secret base?
He's Mikhail, Mikhail, with an eye patch on his face.
Ben is insecure when he goes to his place.
He's Mikhail, Mikhail, with an eye patch on his face.

Who makes tea and offers castaways a taste?
Mikhail, Mikhail, with an eye patch on his face.
John thinks keeping him alive would be a waste.
Mikhail, Mikhail, with an eye patch on his face.

Does he have a satellite? Big, impressive satellite?
Yes, he has a satellite. Handy-dandy satellite!
Does he like to shoot a gun? Does he think it's very fun?
Yes, he likes to shoot a gun. Yes, he thinks it's very fun.

He wades through cats and clutter.
I am inclined to mutter,
"Though it may be a disgrace,
I love your one-eyed face,
Misanthropic, hermetic nutter!"

Who's the surly medic in a secret base?
He's Mikhail, Mikhail, with an eye patch on his face.
Ben is insecure when he goes to his place.
He's Mikhail, Mikhail, with an eye patch on his face.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Russian, a Scot and a Spaniard Walk Into a Bar...

Actually, a peek at Wikipedia informs me that the Mysterious Stranger is in fact Portuguese, but since Spanish was the first thing she spoke, I figured she was from Spain. Evidently her name is also Naomi, but the show hasn't told us that yet either. Apparently she's a regular addition to the cast now, though. Anyway, I'll get to that part of the story later, since it was the part of the episode I really loved. But to the main thread...
I was right; D.O.C. does stand for "date of conception". It seems it makes a big difference whether the baby is conceived on the island. If Sun has two months to go, that could mean two seasons before she goes haywire, and maybe they'll be rescued by then, and presumably once she's off the island having a baby won't be a problem. Though if that were the case, why didn't they ship the women out when they got pregnant and have them give birth off the island at Richard's facilities? Surely they could have kept them contained easily enough. Wouldn't that have been better than watching these poor women die, one after the other, along with any real hope of a next generation of Others?
I think Juliet sincerely cares about her patients, and that losing those nine women and their babies really took a toll on her. There was a bit of nice bonding between her and Sun, and I do think she wants Sun to be happy and healthy, though unfortunately her situation is such that it's basically one or the other. Her message to Ben didn't smack as much of betrayal as the One of Us conversation did. All she did was report on Sun's condition, plus indicate that she was checking up on Kate. Is Ben's imminent arrival about those two? I figured he was planning some sort of organized attack on the beachies - though hoping he wasn't. Maybe he just wants to nab Sun and Kate for research. Not that we really want that to happen, though being with the Others could actually be their best chance of survival. Seems like Ben has bad things in mind, though; Juliet's "I hate you" would appear to point to him using her to do unscrupulous things.
It seems like the tryst between Sawyer and Kate was Ben's plan all along. Very complicated, but everything that happened to them while they were in captivity was a way to build up all this romantic tension between them that would culminate in Kate thinking Sawyer was a dead man and feeling driven to fly into his arms on what she presumed to be his last night alive. So that whole thing was about getting Jack to operate on Ben, but maybe it was also about getting Kate pregnant. They're running out of fertile women, I reckon, and women willing to risk getting pregnant. Was Juliet taking contraceptives or something? Because she and Goodwin seemed to be in a pretty cozy relationship. She of all people would know the dangers, and besides she's sort of indispensable to the Others, so I wouldn't think Goodwin would risk the future of their community by potentially impregnating her.
Despite her sincere affection for Jae, Sun is truly remorseful for the affair she had with him, and she is thrilled that the baby is Jin's, though if neither she nor the baby will survive, it's not going to do Jin much good. I really think that Sun is safe for this season, because the question of whether she can survive this pregnancy when no one else can will become such a pressing issue for the fourth and perhaps fifth season. (Will there be a fifth? I hope so!!) I'm not so sure about Jin, but we'll see... I liked the flashback, firmly rooted in those giddy newlywed days, before Jin was so firmly in Mr. Paik's grasp. And now we learn that he might not have been forced to do those things if not for Sun asking for money to shut Jin's mother up. Should she have done it? Hard to say. She did promise his father she wouldn't let Jin find out the truth... But would it have been so terrible if he had known? Would it have been worse than being Mr. Paik's slave? Jin shouldn't be ashamed of something over which he has no control. But then their society seems very bound by class distinctions, and shame is something to be avoided at all costs. Still, unless she told Mr. Paik, the outcome might have been better if Sun had just let Jin know the truth. But it's hard to say.
Here's the big question: Could Sun and Jin be siblings? Okay, that's a really big stretch, but given this show, not so much. Maybe Jin's mother was saving the big guns for later. She already blackmailed Sun with the fact that Jin was born to a prostitute. Can you imagine the shame for all concerned if it got out that Sun had married her own brother? Anyway, it's nice that it's a deadbeat mom for a change. Mr. Kwon may not biologically be Jin's dad, but he raised him. He took him in out of the goodness of his heart, only to be repaid with Jin's rejection because he was ashamed of his humble beginnings. If anything, I like Mr. Kwon even more than I did before. He is a really fantastic guy, and it's heartbreaking that Jin would pretend he was dead because he didn't feel like he was good enough for Sun, or for her father, anyway. Sun certainly treated Mr. Kwon with respect and didn't seem to look down on him at all, especially when she realized that he had taken on the burden of a child who might well not be his own. Anyway, I'm glad he and Jin reconciled before the crash; it just makes me very sad that Jin would treat such a magnanimous father that way, even if he thought he had to in order to marry Sun. Mr. Kwon is definitely one of my all-time favorite flashback characters. (And it occurs to me I don't think I included him on my HANSO cards. Phooey...)
Claire was in this episode for about 10 seconds, Sawyer not at all. No John either, but it looks like both of them will play a big role in next week's episode. I thought John told Sawyer he wanted him to kill Ben, but maybe I misunderstood or just assumed. If he meant Anthony instead, this could be quite the crucial episode indeed, when we may find out if Anthony and Sawyer and one and the same, and if so, whether pseudo-Sawyer will take his revenge if given the chance. I have a funny feeling that he might not. He feels really terrible about killing that guy in Sydney, as well he should; I think the thirst for revenge has seceded somewhat. And John, if your way of taking the high road is to delegate murder to somebody else, that's really not too noble of you. Then again, maybe for some reason he literally "can't". But I'm thinking it comes down to an unwillingness to harm his father, despite all the pain he's inflicted. He still can't help but cling to this impossible hope that he will change his tune. I hear next week's episode is supposed to be mind-blowing. Here's hopin'.
You know what was mind-blowing? Mikhail! When he came crashing onto the scene, I squealed, "PATCHY!!" I was elated. I'd harbored a slight hope for a while that he wasn't really dead, but then I pretty much accepted that he was. Whether he was knocked unconscious or playing dead, he managed to survive the Unfortunate Force Field Incident. Which means John's not a murderer! And which means one of my favorite Others is back on the table. I find it ironic that Mikhail is the communications expert, since he's such a recluse and would probably prefer not to talk to anyone at all. He's a loose cannon, a renegade, almost as much of an independent operator as Danielle. Yeah, he's an Other, but only just barely. I don't think he has particularly strong allegiances to them, and Ben's afraid of him. Mainly he's just looking out for himself, and rather like Locke, he craves the solitude this island can provide.
Mom was not happy to see him back. She told me that she groaned when he showed up, and that she's sure Naomi said something like, "You're an evil man!" when he claimed she said "Thank you." "Why," I asked her, "would she call the guy who just saved her life an evil man?" I find it unlikely that she would have any preconceived notions about Mikhail. It is possible she said something other than "Thank you" there, but I don't think that was it. Unfortunately, I can't make the words out well enough to try to find the proper translation. Anyway, it seemed as though Hurley's flare was what made him appear; he was running toward them with a purpose but was surprised when he saw who was there. Who did he think it was?
At any rate, he saved Naomi's life. Doesn't that count for something? Maybe he felt like he had no choice, like it was the only way to save his own skin since he was outnumbered. Maybe he figures now they are in his debt, so they won't go after him in the future. There might well have been ulterior motives. And his self-satisfied smirking isn't all that endearing. But that doesn't change what he did. Unless he and Naomi are in league somehow? Was Patchy watching Desmond all that time when he was in the hatch, and she had the picture because he captured it on film and they printed a copy, and the two of them are part of some huge conspiracy? I wish I knew Italian. (Naomi is very multi-lingual, incidentally, speaking Spanish, Chinese, Italian and English, none of which is her native language.) Gah. I really want to believe that Mikhail just saved Naomi because it was the right thing to do. I don't think he's such a bad guy. He did kill Bea, but it looked to me like she almost forced him to do it. I don't think he wanted to at all.
In spite of his shortcomings, Desmond is probably the most spiritually mature person on the island, with the probable exception of Rose, who we just haven't seen enough of. Yeah, he threatens Mikhail, but I really don't think he ever had any intention of killing him. He's a "live and let live" kind of guy. The look on his face when he killed Kelvin was one of such utter horror... It was about more than the dreadful realization that he was alone now. Desmond does not want to kill anyone. He claims to be a coward, and maybe he is, but he's always looking out for other people. He had Charlie and Eko's backs before he even knew who they were, worrying about their well-being when John was so far off the deep end he didn't care anymore. I wonder whether the order he disobeyed in the army had to do with killing someone? I bet we'll find out one of these days.
Incidentally, did he really kill Kelvin? If Mikhail could survive such an apparently fatal blow, couldn't Kelvin as well? He only stuck around for half a minute or so before he realized the timer was about to run down, and I can't imagine he would've risked going back to bury him. Then again, shouldn't he have seen his corpse when he went back to his ship, or noted its disappearance if it wasn't there? Sigh... I'd love to see Kelvin again... Desmond could use a load off his conscience. Not that he's really done so very much to be ashamed of since landing on the island, especially in comparison to some of his fellow castaways. He just needs to learn to control his temper.
So I was very happy Desmond let Mikhail go. I knew he would, despite Charlie's objections. Charlie is a far sight too keen on revenge, if you ask me. It's gotten him into trouble before, and he ought to have realized by now that it won't bring him peace. Granted, it may be a matter of security, but Desmond's right. He's bound by honor to let him go, and anyway, the more Others they kill, the more trouble will come. Maybe not with Mikhail, since it's quite possible everybody on the island thinks he's dead, so it wouldn't make much difference if they killed him again. But that wouldn't make it right. Desmond is rising above the growing turmoil by refusing to adopt an "us vs. them" mentality. I cheered when he pointed out that the castaways had killed more of the Others than the other way around; it's about time somebody besides them acknowledged it. And that little eye-rolling laugh when Charlie said the Others started it... Desmond knows it's up to them to end it.
I'm not sure how many of the deaths Desmond knows about, but I did a count of Others killed by castaways and castaways killed by Others. Unless I'm missing something, the most basic count has the castaways killing seven Others and the Others killing two castaways. Charlie kills Ethan; AnaLucia kills a random Other and Goodwin; Eko kills two Others shortly after the plane crash; Sawyer kills an Other in the season two finale; Sun kills Colleen. Meanwhile, Ethan kills Scott and Goodwin kills Nathan. The numbers change a bit if we take other factors into consideration. Michael kills AnaLucia and Libbie; those could potentially be counted as attributable to the Others, but the fact is that ultimately it is Michael's decision to pull that trigger, and nobody was forcing his hand. Also, Ethan either thought Charlie was dead or thought he would be by the time Jack caught up with him, and Danny was all set to kill Sawyer on two separate occasions. On the other hand, it certainly seems John thought he killed Mikhail. And Juliet killed Danny, but it was so Kate and Sawyer could escape, so that's sort of similar to the Michael situation. (Shouldn't Sawyer perhaps be a little more grateful to her for saving his life?) Any way you slice it, though, the Others aren't responsible for as many deaths as the castaways are. It's time more of the survivors realized their fear is turning them into murderers. Seems to me Desmond isn't such a coward after all.
At this point, I think Charlie is, because after all, he figures the axe is about to fall on him at any moment. He doesn't want to take any chances with something that might wind up getting him killed, plus he still has a major grudge against the Others. He's much more cautious than Hurley, who fires the flare gun (well, his intentions were good - but what a great comedic / calamitous moment), who tells Mikhail about the phone, who gives his full name and flight details to Naomi (who he, and we, presume is a "good guy", but you never know). I love how he calls his mom on the phone, and how he gets to be the one who gets handed the most major revelation of the episode. Is it really a revelation though?
There are many possible explanations. 1) Naomi is mixed up. 2) Naomi is lying. 3) The plane really did crash and everyone died, and this is some sort of otherworldly place, though the wreckage was still on the island, so was it just part of the illusion? And... Anyway, I don't think I like that theory too much. Enough with the "everybody's dead" stuff. How can you die twice? 4) It's some massive conspiracy, probably involving Mr. Widmore, and they had a fake plane in place for people to find, complete with... fake bodies... Hmm... That seems awfully complicated... But I think I'm probably going with this or number 2 as the most likely scenario. There are others, I'm sure; I think I even thought of a couple more last night, but they're not springing to mind right away. But if they had a fake plane ready, the plane crash was intentional, in which case it would seem that maybe Kelvin was part of the conspiracy, pushing Desmond's buttons just enough so that he would come after him that day, letting the clock wind down. Maybe Desmond's entire relationship with Penny was orchestrated from the beginning, a la The Truman Show, so that he would wind up in that race, and maybe Libby was in on it too. Ugh. Since when am I such a conspiracy theorist? But there's got to be some explanation for all this...
Jin is a very fast runner. Was he really in the army? Since he lied about his father it's hard to say for sure what else he lied about, but as military service is compulsory for men in South Korea, he must have been a soldier, and that may be where he learned to run so fast. He's very suspicious of Mikhail, especially after he realizes he took the phone. Why did Mikhail take the phone? I really don't think he wants off the island or wants to communicate with anybody else on the island too much. It seems like he just took it to see if they would be clever enough to realize he had taken it. He wasn't even walking away quickly; it was pretty easy for Jin to overtake him.
I don't think that still should have been the picture ABC used on its site. Way too revealing. Mikhail was the big surprise of the night for me, and for many others too, I'm sure. They should have had a picture of Sun and Juliet. Anyway, I hear five people will meet their demise before the season ends. Who? I certainly don't want to lose anybody, let alone five people, but if I have to venture some guesses... 1) Charlie. They've been dangling his death before us since Valentine's Day. I just don't know if Desmond can keep him safe much longer. 2) Rose. Supposedly she's back before the end of the season, but the fact that we haven't seen her all this time is worrisome. What if, following the hatch implosion, her cancer came back with a vengeance? 3) Anthony Cooper. Doesn't seem like there's much point in having him on the island, and presumably he was brought here so Locke could kill him, though it seems he can't, and if he turns out to be the real Sawyer, I don't know if our Sawyer will have the heart to kill him. If he spares him now, though, I have a hunch Anthony might just turn the tables. 4) Jack. The last episode is supposed to feature something that will fundamentally change the show forever. Granted, it could have something to do with the tsunami; if we're 90 days in, that means December 21, right? So four more days till Christmas, five more to the tsunami? Somebody better mention the fact that it's Christmas. Someone must be paying attention to the date. Anyway, if Jack died, that would definitely change the show... 5) Hmmm, last one... Well, at least one of the Others must kick off. Which could mean Ben, especially if he's getting a flashback before the end of the season, but he's so intriguing I'd really rather keep him around... So maybe Juliet. Maybe she'll die doing something heroic. I don't know. I really don't see why they have to kill of five people. Even one is too many...
Anyway, all told, D.O.C. was an extremely satisfying episode. Not nearly as much humor as last week, but just enough to keep things from seeming too dismal, and the tenuous alliances formed between Sun and Juliet and Mikhail and Desmond gave the whole thing a very redemptive tone, which I loved. Of course, the last couple minutes introduced a major mystery, but we can worry about that later. For now, I welcome Patchy back with open arms.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hurley (Hugo Reyes) Action Figure Review

Dude, how could anyone not love this triumphant Hurley action figure?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's No Laughing Matter When Charlie Plays Isaac to Desmond's Abraham

Erin can breathe again. Goodness, it was getting harrowing waiting for last night, and my heart was hammering in my chest practically every minute of the episode. When it comes to compelling, Dez flashbacks beat out even Locke. And I seriously was worried about him. Seems he's in a pretty precarious position. Since Charlie can't die yet - I really wish they hadn't let slip that he had a flashback coming up, though it would be pretty cruddy of them to kill him off without him even having a flashback in season three - all the more reason for them to whack Dez, because with him out of the way, Charlie's that much more vulnerable, set up for certain doom in the next-to-last episode. Ugh.

Catch-22 is such an ominous name for an episode, and so appropriate for Desmond's situation, which really does seem rather hopeless, especially when it seems like he has to choose between Charlie and Penny. I got all excited when they showed the book that had fallen from the parachuted figure, which was obviously Catch-22 in another language. Spooky... Desmond already said, "No matter what I try to do, you're gonna die, Charlie." He really does feel it's inevitable, yet he keeps resisting it. But can he do that when saving Charlie, only to have him face mortal peril yet again within days, could prevent him from saving the love of his life?
The opening sequence to this episode was horrible - and would have been much more dreadful if it seemed like there was a reasonable chance Charlie could actually die. Mom screamed bloody murder when he took an arrow to the throat, but I just flinched and said, "Oh, it's one of Desmond's psychic flashes." I wish I'd been able to believe that it really was curtains for Charlie, if only for a moment; I hate to think I'm being denied any emotional wringing. Still, that was a most unpleasant shot, and I really didn't need to see it half a dozen times. Not only is it utterly grotesque, but it's condescending. Okay, we get it. Desmond remembers seeing Charlie get shot in the throat. Kinda hard to forget. We don't need to see the flash every time he does. Another trait of Desmond episodes: superfluous flashbacks. Once is generally enough; if it's really important, and it's been a while, or we're seeing it from a different perspective, I can accept seeing it twice, but five or six times? Enough already!
That said, Catch-22 was brilliant. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, yet it was also an incredibly funny episode. That first scene is a perfect encapsulation. There's the initial intimidating shot of Dez slashing aside that bit of brush, and then it's Charlie and Hurley tromping around, arguing over whether Superman is cooler than the Flash, while Jin hangs back not knowing what they're yammering on about. (I'm with Charlie; Supes all the way, man!) And Charlie's guitar getting soaked, I might add; I wondered while I was watching what he was doing in the middle of the jungle, in the middle of a downpour, with his guitar on his back. Doesn't seem like very good stewardship of his instrument. Anyway, it's quite a merry little party, and then... Trip wire! So that's bad, but you're thinking, "Well, Hurley managed to get out of it unscathed; Charlie will too." Except he didn't. It was awful. Seriously awful.
Cheers, then, for a seriously intense opener. As worried as I was about Desmond, though, and as convinced as I was that Charlie was safe - and would be for the next few episodes, I kept shaking my head at Desmond. "You can't kill him, Dez!" I railed. "You just can't!" Because he's trying to recreate the scene exactly, which means letting Charlie take the arrow, all because he thinks Penny is coming for him and that they'll only be reunited if everything happens the way he saw it. (I love how his explanation to Hurley about how his flashes work, like pieces of a puzzle but there's no picture on the front of the box to go by, is a perfect description of the Mystery of the Island puzzles...) There was something very creepy about his telling Hurley that he didn't want to change what happened, that he wanted it more than anything in the world. The fact is, he's deeply conflicted. Every step of the way, he can barely go through with what he's doing, so he has to crank his urgency up a notch so the rest won't see through to his fear, remorse and hesitation.
You know, when I saw "Moriah", the first thing I thought was Lord of the Rings. Not quite what they had in mind... I never did like the story of Abraham and Isaac all that much. What a terrible thing to ask a man to do... Isaac was spared, of course, but... Well, if someone did that today, he'd be seen as a psychopath rather than a faithful servant. Is it enough to trust that God will intervene at the last moment? Perhaps it should be, but that makes me a coward too because I can't imagine myself killing a member of my family even at God's command. I guess the big question here is whether Desmond is a hero for saving Charlie yet again or a faithless failure because he keeps trying to cheat fate. If he hadn't stepped in, would the vision have changed anyway? Would God have spared Charlie as a reward for Desmond's faith?
But Desmond's near lack of action doesn't seem to be about obedience; it's about his desperation to be with Penny again. It's about Charlie being a sacrifice so Desmond can get what he wants. That doesn't seem all that admirable to me. And anyway, part of the point of God asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac was to show that He wasn't interested in that. I almost feel like the show is trying to say that Desmond should be letting Charlie die, but that just doesn't gel with me. Well, maybe that's just Desmond, feeling like a loser as usual, convinced whatever he's doing is the wrong thing, and it has nothing to do with God's will. And really, saving Charlie this time around didn't turn out so badly, did it? My head hurts. Why must you always do this to me, Dez? You have no compassion for my poor nerves!
(P.S. (4-22) After mulling it over for half a week, I think perhaps Charlie isn't Isaac after all. As much as Desmond cares about him and doesn't want to see him get hurt, Penny is the love of his life, so risking her life would be the true sacrifice, which he makes when he decides - at the last minute, by all appearance - to save Charlie's neck again anyway. He's not particularly at peace with that decision, but he makes it, and I'd like to think that is indicative of moral fiber rather than failing. I prefer the idea that Penny is Isaac because Desmond's duty seems a lot less bloodthirsty - to save rather than to allow to die - and because it means that in the end, Desmond has done the right thing.)
Anyway, I've always imagined Dez to be rather religious, what with the "brother" stuff, the "lift it up" comment to Jack following a conversation heavy with religious implications, his crossing himself, his incredulous reaction when he learned he and Locke were barricading themselves from a priest, the prayerful vibe I get from him when he's not busy getting sloshed, the whole destiny / saving people thing. When the flashback started, I heard the bells and thought "church" but then immediately switched to "prison", only to realize that it was, in a sense, both. This tenure at the monastery is presumably where he picked up the habit of calling everyone "brother". He was both hiding and pursuing, seeking penance for the act that led him there while trying to find a higher purpose for his life. Ironically, finding out he'd been a monk only led me to see Dez in a less mystical light, because he's such a crummy monk. Oh, sure, he can do the quiet thing, and we see that he's reasonably well-versed in the Bible, or at least a certain part of it. But for as much as he came off as this wise advisor in that scene with Jack in Man of Science, Man of Faith, everything since has shown him to be hopelessly confused.
I think the Ruth subplot slightly detracts from his epic love story with Penny. He dated Ruth three times as long as Penny, and then he just abandoned her. Nice of him to go back and attempt to explain himself, but the two of them must have been awfully fond of each other to sustain that kind of relationship. What makes Penny so much better? I know, I know... Fate was leading him to her. They were meant to be together. And then they were meant to be apart, because he needed motivation to enter that race and crash that boat and eventually turn the failsafe key. That was Desmond's grand purpose. So what now, since that's been accomplished? When I was watching this last night, I noticed the picture on the monk's desk but didn't catch who was in it. I thought it might be Penny; I figured it probably was somehow significant. Reading MSN's blog this morning before I re-watched the episode and confirmed it for myself, I saw they'd noticed it too, only they managed to see who was in the picture. Mrs. Hawking. Oh goodie. Who are these two? How are they able to jerk Dez around like a marionette? Are they pre-cogs like him? As much as they come across like warm, gentle mentors (and I love how much the firing scene reminded me of Maria's send-off by the Mother Superior in The Sound of Music), there's also something creepy and possibly sinister about them, especially Mrs. Hawking. Evidently she and the monk are working together. Something tells me we haven't seen the last of them.
While I wasn't so crazy about the constant repetition of the opening scene, I did like all the little references to past Desmond moments. With Jack, talking about how he twisted his ankle and how he's bandaged his share of them in his day, taking us back to that fateful meeting in the bleachers. With the monk, saying, "Sorry about the wine," recalling his "Sorry about the Scotch" to Sawyer. And the monk saying that he was so busy running away he didn't know what he was running to, which Desmond probably had in mind when he told Penny, who asked what he was running from, that "I have to get my honor back, and that's what I'm running to." And there was the picture, of course. Can't get away from that picture...
Poor, poor Dez. We got to see his crazy / tormented face, albeit not quite as intense as it was when he killed Kelvin and when Locke smashed the computer, several times: when there's the splash in the ocean, when they think they've found Penny, when he gets sacked by the monk... Nobody does tortured quite like Henry Ian Cusick. It was heartbreaking to see him wailing, "I'm sorry, Penny!" yet again; that whole sequence was very trying. The way they intercut it with their first meeting, their use of "the sad music," which Libbie pointed out in alarm, the slow motion... It all seemed to be leading up to the fact that in saving Charlie, this time, he had killed Penny. That somehow she'd have been okay if Charlie had died, though I can't really see how. The crash had already happened, so it was just a matter of getting there faster, and they arrived pretty quickly as it was. At any rate, first you think Charlie's dead, then you think maybe Dez will die trying to save him while still saving Penny, then you think maybe Jin or Hurley will get pierced with the arrow that should have gotten Charlie, and then finally you think after all her trouble, Penny's a goner, which is a miserably depressing way to end that story arc, and where is Desmond supposed to go from there? But it's not Penny, though it is someone apparently sent by Penny. And it's not absolutely certain at the end of the episode that she's dead. What is certain is that she knows who Desmond is. Intense.
This was a tough episode for me because I couldn't decide which course of action for Desmond would be more upsetting to me. Seemed like there would be deadly consequences no matter what he tried to do, so I kept feeling frustrated with him, feeling like he was doing the wrong thing, but really I was mad at the Universe for putting him in such a quandry. He's trying so hard to choose the right course; it's not fair to put so much on one guy's shoulders. On a lighter note, turns out Charles Dickens isn't Desmond's only obsession. There's also the Celtics. Seeing them win that championship was "the closest thing to a religious experience" he had in his provincial life with Ruth. (Any significance to her name? When I think of Ruth, I think of loyalty, being willing to follow the one you care about anywhere. Desmond displayed rather the opposite of loyalty when he bailed on her...) Also, that's their fight song he's singing drunkenly when he gets kicked out of the monastery. (Call me terrible, but Dez is such a hoot when he's drunk. He's so darn cheeky... And he smiles a lot. It's always nice to see those dazzling teeth, since a sober Dez is generally very sober indeed.)
Okay, Dez was not the only character in this episode, so perhaps I ought to shift gears for just a moment. (And yes, I'm going to keep spelling his shortened name with a "z", just because I'm stubborn like that. He's "Des" for Pen; he's "Dez" for me.) To Charlie, yes? He spends half the episode being very suspicious of Desmond's motives - and that glare he gives him after Desmond says that he was supposed to let him die is bone-chilling. But he's terribly sweet when it comes to the whole Penny thing. He wants Desmond to be happy, so he lends a very sympathetic ear when he realizes his three-time rescuer is a love-sick puppy. We get to hear him play his guitar a bit. We see him all light-hearted as he's talking superheroes with Hurley. It's appropriate that Superman would be his favorite, given the fact that he has his own personal Superman plucking him out of danger's way all the time, though I hadn't really figured him for someone who would get that into superheroes. Too busy with his music to sit around reading comics. Ah, well. I don't read comics either, and I think Superman is amazing. Anyway, great balance of comedy and nail-biting drama with Charlie.
Hurley, too. He's been weirded out by Desmond since he found him wandering around in the jungle naked, especially when he unknowingly predicted Locke's speech, and that was only the beginning. He was so awkward around Jack: "I'm just hanging out with Dez... because... we're friends." Way not to sound like you're covering something up. But he recovered his golden tongue for the conversation with Jin, which was awesome. I love how seriously Jin appeared to mull over the notion in his mind before giving a very definitive-sounding "Yes." I think he was flattered to be included on what seemed an exercise in male bonding, an impression amplified by that great shot of the four of them walking along the beach whistling the Bridge Over the River Kwai song. One of the best parts of the whole episode was Jin telling that scary story with the flashlight (though I thought all the batteries were long dead by now?) and Hurley nearly jumping out of his skin even though he had no clue what he was saying. Funny how the second Dez episode of the season once again involves Hurley, Charlie and a campfire... Anyway, Hurley and Jin had some nice moments in this one. I also liked, "Dude, even if I spoke Korean, it wouldn't make any sense." Hurley's fairly light-hearted throughout the ordeal, but he senses something is up from the beginning. There's something slightly worried about him in most of his scenes.
What fell out into the water? Not a person, presumably? It's nice that Hurley right away piped up saying they had to help, though that notion didn't go anywhere, I guess partly because they decided there wasn't a person out there in the ocean after all. Helicopters are so spooky. Where did it come from? I wouldn't think it would have enough fuel for such a long trip. That certainly was an ominous scene, with the blinking lights and the four of them standing there staring and no one watching daring to breathe... Very well done. Incidentally, poor Hurley, having Dez jumping around on his shoulders so he could get up that tree. That couldn't have been too comfortable.
Back on the beach, Sun, Claire, Sayid and Vincent are AWOL, and we have no idea what's up with John. But... Sawyer mentions Bernard! Yay!! And Bernard evidently likes Phil Collins. Fascinating. Anyway, this bodes well for Bernard and Rose showing up in the next episode. They've got an in now. I loved Sawyer's little ping pong match, though I'm not clear on whether he initiated it just for the fun of it or hoping to extract some insight about Jack and Kate. Seems like it might have been just an innocent diversion, because he appeared pretty unsettled when he realized that Kate's mind had been somewhere else the night before, though I think he had a hunch at the time. Looked to me like he almost considered refusing her but then sort of shrugged as if to say that he'll take what he can get. Ugh. It was so Cameron and Chase on House... I guess she never was really that gung-ho for Sawyer anyway; it was always Jack she was after, but he never gave her enough of the time of day, and now she's burning with jealousy that Jack's with Juliet. Sawyer's so attentive... She can take him down a peg or two, but I don't want her breaking his heart. It's not right. Anyway, I didn't really need to see all the Sawyer-Kate late-night shenanigans, but I liked Sawyer better than Kate in this episode. And I loved his comment about how the island would explode if they didn't play ping pong every 108 minutes.
Jack and Juliet seem awfully chummy. And he still seems to be mostly giving Kate the cold shoulder. He's talking to her, but he seems rather annoyed by her presence, and definitely by her attempts to flirt with him. (That licking the spoon thing? Ugh. What was she thinking?) I think it's very weird for both Jack and Kate not to have any kind of crisis to solve. Things are very peaceful right at the moment. But Jack's right, they won't stay that way long, so no worries there. They'll both be able to do something heroic soon enough.
So... I guess that's it. I feel like there's more, but I've been rambling on for a couple of hours now, and I think I'd better wrap it up. Next week we find out more about the island's baby problem and how it will affect Sun. Should be interesting, but I can't possibly be more engaged than I was this week. Damon and friends, I kiss your feet in gratitude. Don't ever scare me like that again.

Pilot Episode Review

LOST had the most expensive pilot in TV history.  The expense was worth it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Don't Die, Dezzy!

I'll launch my plea one more time, not that it will do any good. This episode was shot weeks ago, so if tonight's the night, his fate is sealed. But they can't kill him off, not with Penny searching the world for him, not with me deciding that he's upstaged Charlie, Locke and Hurley to become my favorite character of the season. I'm ever so cross with the fact that 35% of respondents in a recent TV Guide survey said he should be the next character to go. Grrrrr... Say it isn't so!! Well, anyway, tonight's episode shall be awesome one way or another. I just may at some point feel the need to lob heavy objects at the television...

Henry With the Arrow (Sparrow, Paul Simon)

Here's a little ditty to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's Sparrow revolving around season two's One of Them.

Henry With the Arrow

Who shot Henry with the arrow
While wand'ring through the wilderness?
"'Twas I," muttered Danielle.
"I won't take my chances. He could cause distress.
Sayid, don't let him leave; just make him confess."

Who healed Henry with the arrow
Piercing his shoulder like a sword?
"'Twas I," whispered Jack.
"He's a liar, perhaps, but we really can't afford
To be savage and start spreading death and discord."

And who, softly sitting set apart,
Has tortured Henry with the arrow?
"'Twas I," volunteered Sayid.
"I could have delivered a quite fatal blow,
But if he is slain, then what will we know?"

Who is Henry with the arrow,
A man enmeshed in mystery?
"I am," chuckled Ben.
"I'm strangely elated by disharmony.
They've just tossed away their trust, thanks to me."

Stuck Here On This Rock (Loves Me Like a Rock, Paul Simon)

This Loves Me Like a Rock LOST parody is pretty current-day, from Juliet's perspective and mostly focusing on events that occurred in last week's episode and The Man From Tallahassee.

Stuck Here On This Rock

Ben, I really am annoyed. (I really am annoyed)
You've bedeviled me again. (I really am annoyed)
Please tell me, why do, (Why)
Why do you keep on foolin'? (I really am annoyed)
I was overcome with joy (I really am annoyed)
Seeing Rachel. I'm so tired

Oh, of being stuck here. I'm stuck here.
I'm really running out of luck here.
I am stuck here on this rock.
Been stuck here on this rock for ages.
I'm stuck here.
I'm stuck here, stuck here, stuck here, stuck here.

John, you're a no-good, rotten man. (No-good, rotten man)
Mr. Locke, you should be ashamed. (No-good, rotten man)
Please tell me, what do, (What)
What do you think you're doin'? (No-good, rotten man)
You're a very selfish man. (No-good, rotten man)
Jack and I were just about to leave.

Oh, now I'm stuck here. I'm stuck here.
I'm really running out of luck here.
I am stuck here on this rock.
Been stuck here on this rock for ages.
I'm stuck here.
I'm stuck here, stuck here, stuck here, stuck here.

Jack, I am sure you must resent (Know you must resent)
The fact that John torched the submarine. (Know you must resent)
Please tell me, when do, (When)
When do you two start duelin'? (Know you must resent)
You know that Ben made us a deal. (Know you must resent)
We shouldn't be residents here anymore.

Oh, but we're stuck here. We're stuck here.
We're really running out of luck here.
We are stuck here on this rock.
Been stuck here on this rock for ages.
We're stuck here.
We're stuck here, stuck here, stuck here, stuck here.

(fade out)

Loves Me Like a Rock

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Box Man (The Boxer, Paul Simon)

As I eagerly await this week's Desmond flashback, I can't help composing yet another soliloquy by my favorite Scrooge-ish Scot. I say Scrooge not because he's a self-involved, greedy, bitter old man, but because, like Ebenezer Scrooge, he seemingly forfeited the joys of an epic romance because he felt he wasn't good enough for the woman he adored; it appears the harder he tries to prove himself worthy, the further he gets from what he really wants. He even got an otherworldly visitation showing him how happy he could have been, and he might as well have been only a regretful observer for as much as he changed in his past. His future is another story, however, and I really do hope that he and Penny are reunited eventually. Perhaps all his island heroics will have inflated his cripplingly low self-esteem by then, and he'll realize Penny doesn't need her father's blessing or his money to be happy. In any case, it seems appropriate to me that Desmond is so obsessed with Charles Dickens...

This little ramble, to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's The Boxer, is rooted in the season two finale, with the first two verses set on the evening when he and Locke first unknowingly interact with one another and the third during their dramatic lockdown.

The Box Man

I was such a poor boy,
But my heart would not be sold.
I have pondered my resistance
Since the day that I first tumbled
On the premises.

My trying quest
Made me land here and kill Kelvin here.
Has this all been a test?

I'm so far from home.
For a man to be
Left alone, denied his joy
Till his circumstances change,
Is cause for crying.
Drowned in ale,
I fume, "It isn't fair!"

Now I know, as I cower in the corner,
That this island's a snow globe.
All the other places vanished long ago.

Time to die. Time to just give up and die.
Time to die. Here with Dickens by my side, I'll give up and die.

I go leafing through the pages
Of my novel, and I'm sobbing as I discover
Penny's secret, tender words,
For what am I to do?

But my despair
Is cut short when I hear someone's voice
Resounding through the air.

I will try. I'll survive this if I try.
I will try. Don't know why, but from the sky came the will to try.

How I landed back here, no one knows.
I had the chance to roam, so I roamed,
But reality is bitter. Fate was leading me.
Needing me now is John.

Standing near me is the box man,
And he's acting quite deranged.
The poor man could not be blinder
If every light in this cursed room was shut off.
So I cry out
That it's real and I'm to blame:
"Please believe me, please believe me,
I'm the one who crashed your plane!

Not a lie! John, the button's not a lie.
Not a lie! We will die if you deny that it's not a lie.
John, the button's not a lie.
Not a lie! We will die if you deny that it's not a lie.
John, the button's not a lie.
Not a lie! We will die if you deny that it's not a lie.
John, the button's not a lie.
Not a lie! We will die if you deny that it's not a lie.
John, the button's not a lie.
Not a lie! We will die if you deny that it's not a lie.
John, the button's not a lie.
Not a lie! We will die if you deny that it's not a lie.
John, the button's not a lie.
Not a lie! We will die if you deny that it's not a lie.
John, the button's not a lie.
Not a lie! We will die if you deny that it's not a lie."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Militant Man (An Innocent Man, Billy Joel)

I'm trying to fill in the gaps in my LOST parodies by turning my attention to characters I've largely neglected thus far. One of the most glaring of these is Sayid, whose only appearance was in my very first attempt. I guess he hasn't really grabbed my interest the way some of the others have, largely because he's so darn solemn all the time, but he's an intriguing character and actually one of the reasons I think the Others, or at least some of the Others, aren't so bad. Right off the bat they get us to sympathize with someone who was one of "the bad guys", and it makes us more inclined to consider how apparent enemies might be viewed differently if we looked at things from their perspective.

Sayid is a good man who has done bad things, and though he is mostly ashamed of the harm he inflicted upon others when he felt he had little choice, that experience has hardened him, making him more willing to resort to desperate measures in the desperate times the castaways face. This parody of Billy Joel's An Innocent Man features Sayid at loggerheads with Jack over his desire to use dubious methods to extract information from Sawyer, Henry and Juliet.

A Militant Man

How can he steal from the sick and the poor?
I'd say that Sawyer has plundered enough.
It is his choice to be vilified
Although I don't understand why.

He might give in, Jack. It shouldn't take much
When there's danger in breaking all the rules.
I'm guessing you know what must be done
So Shannon will not have to die.

I need your presence, and that's enough help.
I'll do the dirty work all by myself.
Oh, yes, it's dirty,
But I'm not above
Giving Sawyer a shove.
I'll gladly try it if it helps her heal.
I'm not above using torturing
To restore her health if I can.

I know he took them, though he hasn't told;
I think my torment ought to loosen his tongue.
I'm only able to make men cry
Because I am a militant man.
I am a militant man.
Oh, yes, I am.

You people may be too quick to believe
A shifty stranger whose heart could be dark.
I'm betting he has a secret to tell.
You'd do well to recall we're at war.

They murdered Scott and stole Walt in the night;
They kidnapped Claire and left Charlie for dead.
I'm sorry this makes you queasy, but to trust him,
We must be secure.

We have been living in fear, but today
We might make progress if you let me stay.
I am prepared to use pliers and knives,
But I'll keep him alive.
I'm not about to be ruthless like them.
I only need to persuade him a while.
If he aids us, then I'll still my hand.

If he's the one who can start shedding light
On all the problems plaguing our small clan,
His knowledge should be the perfect excuse
For abuse by a militant man.
I am a militant man.
Oh, yes, I am
A militant man.

What makes you think that Juliet is all right?
She's one of them, and I suspect that she might
Be on a mission.
Jack, how do we know
That she wasn't let go
To do some spying, unsuspected by us?
Would you not love to discover her part
In the Others' well-guarded grand plan?

I'm only asking to hear it from her.
Was leaving her idea or was it his?
I'm afraid Ben will pay her to lie
Because I am a militant man.
I am a militant man.
Oh, yes, I am
A militant man.
Oh, oh, oh, oh...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Where Have You Gone, Jacob Other-Man? The Island Turns Its Lonely Eyes to You...

Well. I guess I called this episode pretty well. One of Us was one of the most revelatory episodes so far. A crucial episode, I think. Not a particularly pleasant one. The beach scenes last week were so wonderfully light; we barely got any of that this time around. There was Sawyer's obligatory fat joke ("three men and a baby - I counted Hugo twice!" - rude, of course, but benign and expected, and I'm amused that Sawyer insists on calling Hurley Hugo now, taking the no-nickname thing one step further); his "we cleared our schedules; we've got all the time in the world" (which was actually rather ominous, but made me chuckle); Charlie's "absolutely" in response to Claire's "Do you mind?" inquiry (though I don't know if he was goofing around or if he meant "absolutely not"; probably the latter, since it was his idea, after all...)... Ahem. Actually the moment that made me laugh the most was when Ben took Juliet to see Mikhail and exasperatedly said, "He never has his walkie on." And shortly thereafter, shouting to him, in a slightly unnerved, very put-out manner, that they were approaching and not to shoot. Ah, Mikhail, you're such a renegade. And Ben, you're such a wimp. He seemed way intimidated by Juliet in the tumor scene; of course, anybody would be after that slap-the-glass-of-water-out-of-the-hand maneuver she pulled. That was vicious.
Anyway, bad stuff happened here. Claire got sick. She recovered, though I wonder if whatever was wrong could flare up again? If so, I guess they're probably figuring it won't happen within the week, or the survivors would turn on Juliet. They're on pretty shaky ground already. When she was sitting there all by herself, after having been shunned by the beach folks, I said, "Come on, Hurley. Step up." And two seconds later, there he was, offering the olive branch. Well, he didn't offer quite as warm a welcome as I'd hoped; didn't even introduce himself, though maybe he figured she already knew who he was. But he was perfectly civil to her, which is more than most could say. And again, where is Rose? We could really use her at a time like this. Granted, Juliet is a mole, and perhaps she has no qualms about betraying everyone, but I wish Rose was around to offer her wisdom and try to bring everyone together. Where'd she and Bernard run off to?
This episode was irritating, because it spent the whole time trying to get us to sympathize with Juliet, to show how she'd been played by the Others, particularly Richard and Ben. Ethan too, I suppose, whose bedside manner is immaculate as always. I guess he's one of those who "looks fair and feels foul"; there's malice under that friendly smile, but I still can't help being sorry that Charlie killed him. Especially when it turns out abducting Claire was at least partly about saving her life. But why did he have to kill Charlie? Nearly kill, that is; he sure looked dead up there, and maybe Ethan thought he was. But why'd he have to hurt him? And why'd he have to go and break every bone in Scott's body? Gosh. Obviously it was more than Claire's welfare he was worried about. He saw her as the key to the whole baby problem. The key to the Others' survival. Still. All these secrets tend not to lead to good things. Why can't they be a little more up-front?
Here's the problem. The way I see it, it's not so much that the survivors pose a threat to the Others. If they were assured Jack and the gang would just live out their days on the beach, I don't think they'd even need to cross them. They could just keep their distance, and it wouldn't be a problem, aside from the whole thing with Claire. The trouble is that maybe, just maybe, the survivors could find a way to get rescued. And then Civilization would charge in and ruin everything, take over the island, claim it for some country or another, turn it into a resort or a golf course or some other nonsense, but destroy the sanctity of the island and wipe out the Others' way of life. History has taught us that. I don't know how the Others got there, but for all we know they were the first to inhabit the island, so they have a right to protect their well-being. I hate what Europe did to the Native Americans, the Aborigines, the other indigenous peoples. Obviously the Others are a little more modern than that, but it's sort of the same principle. And that's why Locke belongs with the Others. Because unlike Jack, unlike Juliet, he does not want to get off the island more than anything else in the world. Instead, he wants to stay.
Anyway, they want us to trust Juliet, they want us to sympathize, they want us to believe she's acting alone. And then they end with that whole creepy conversation with Ben, which seems to suggest that something big is coming. "Salvation or annihilation?" Wow. That's cheery. Seems Ben's planning a massive assault on the beach or something. I hate that idea. What is he up to in a week? So much for him being benevolent in leaving Jack, Kate and Sayid behind and letting them go back rather than somehow disposing of them. He has something up his sleeve. I'm disappointed in him. He's so manipulative; the more I think about it, the more I doubt Rachel ever had cancer again at all. I think he lied about that to make Juliet think he'd cured her. Probably wouldn't be too hard to doctor a few medical files. Anyway, who are these people? How long have they lived here? If they've been around for a long time, why is everyone suddenly infertile? If they just settled around the time Ben was born, that may be another matter. Then it's more like Watership Down, and the primary preoccupation becomes how to propagate so there's a next generation. It's not a shortage of gals so much, though, as a shortage of babies. No wonder they're abducting children. They're desperate to continue the line, even if only by adoption. But that only delays the inevitable by a few years...
I had it in my head that the fellow we saw with Juliet in the operating room, and later canoodling with her, was Jacob. I don't know what put that idea into my mind; maybe I just was really jazzed to see him finally. I did think, "Gosh, Jacob looks familiar. Wonder where I've seen him before?" And then, of course, once we got to the plane crash scene, I realized I'd seen him before on this show, and that it wasn't Jacob at all, but Good Man Goodwin (well, if he hadn't gone and whacked Nathan). Unless Jacob and Goodwin were the same person. But I watched it again and realized I had no basis for such an assumption. I guess he's still a mystery. Maybe Jacob is the Smoke Monster. That theory makes little sense, but I sort of dig it. So I'm sad there was no Jacob - and no Danny and Tom for that matter - and I'm bummed all over again that Goodwin got the axe, because I really did like him. And he really shouldn't have killed Nathan. Jerk.
Soooo much Ben in this episode. It filled me with happiness, even though half the time he was being shifty. Probably all the time, actually; you never can tell with Ben. But he was in most of Juliet's flashback scenes, and that made them compelling. I was quite annoyed when the cable cut out twice, both times when he was talking. Turns out I didn't miss much, but you've got to figure about everything he says is important. Actually, both missing sentences were a bit revealing: he finds Carrie depressing, and he thinks there might be a pregnant woman on the plane who Juliet can experiment on. Lucky Claire...
Speaking of whom, that was such an incredibly sweet moment, when Charlie was lying there with Aaron clutching his finger and playing with his Drive Shaft ring and Claire clinging to his other hand, the three of them blissfully asleep, and the sheer joy on Charlie's face when Claire awoke unscathed. Hurley got some nice bits: the talk with Juliet, the oatmeal with Charlie, the ecstatic hug with Kate. Dear old Dezzie got a grand total of two lines: "You don't look so good, Claire" and "Where did John go?" Thanks for the insight, Captain Superfluous. Was it just me, though, or did Juliet linger on him longer than the others during her end-of-the-episode music-montage survivor survey? Plus, the previews singled him out, so I wonder if he might be up next. It would follow a pattern; Dez followed Kate and Juliet the first time around in the season, so by that token he should be on deck, though they're usually a bit more scattered with the distribution of flashbacks. I want another Desmond flashback. I yearn for one. And yet I'm afraid of one, because as long as we know he has one coming up, he can't die. Flashbacks have a way of doing in whoever is having them... Still, I think he's safe. They can't kill him off with Penny still looking for him. Charlie, however, is another matter, and if he kicks the bucket in the second-to-last episode - which I'm positive is his - I will need to cry profusely on Nathan's shoulder for the rest of the night.
That look on Sawyer's face when Jack and the gang returned... First, I think he was disappointed, because he was just starting to step into a leadership role, to look out for the good of the many instead of just himself for a change. Then along comes Jack to stunt his personal growth. But then... Kate. And someone needs to screencap his eyes in the moment he saw her, the mixture of grief and joy, despair and hope, this swirling pool of emotions all reflected in one perfect facial expression... He was so unsure of himself, not knowing whether Kate even wanted to see him. It was heartbreaking. And then it wasn't, because it was the tenderest of reunions, with the feeling obviously mutual. I also liked the man-hug between him and Jack; incredibly awkward, like season four Lex and Clark, but they both made an effort, which was very nice to see. I had visions of them rolling around in the sand with fists flying.
Jin and Sun are kinda getting lost in the shuffle. They welcomed Jack back and scorned Juliet; that was about it. I'm not seeing any evidence that Sun has it in for Charlie, though I'm not getting much to the contrary either. We know she's on the rocks with Sawyer, but for some reason I have the feeling she's placing the blame only on his shoulders. Maybe she figures Charlie's too puny to defend himself, too open to coercion. I don't know. I feel like there must be more to it, though. And if Claire gets wind of what Charlie did, there will be consequences. I wonder if we'll get a glimpse of Liam in real-time, like we did with Penny. Probably not, because I can't see how it would be of really great significance, but the title Greatest Hits just makes me wonder if there will be any mention of how Charlie's apparent death has affected the sale of his albums. He's probably gone hugely popular now, except how could he have a greatest hits album when he and Liam only really had one hit to speak of? Doggone it, I want a finished recording of Funny Now!
The previews called the finale "cataclysmic". That is not a good word. If the entire island is wiped out by the tsunami... Well, they've announced season four, so I don't see how that can happen. But maybe it could wreak some major havoc. Guh. I don't want the tsunami coming in and flooding out half the isle's inhabitants. That would be terrible. And, I would assume, terribly hard to film... I want a Christmas episode. Someone realizing that it's Christmas, and having this really warm, wonderful, mostly light episode where all these good things happen, and everybody feels much more content and secure than they have in a long time. And then... tsunami. Talk about a 180...

Fatal (Cat's in the Cradle, Harry Chapin)

When my brother was home last weekend, I told him I'd written close to 20 parodies, but aside from a line here and there in the group numbers, none of them were about Jack. I think we were watching The White Rabbit at the time, and Nathan suggested Harry Chapin's Cat's in the Cradle as a way of exploring Jack's relationship with his father. I deviated from that focus, but ultimately, it seems everything Jack does is motivated at least a little by a desire to prove himself worthy to his father. This chronicles the events leading up to what is probably my all-time favorite Jack moment.


Jack: I met that man just the other day.
He'd been helping John hunt some different prey.
But he was set to catch poor Claire, and Kate,
It's all my fault. Before it's too late,
We have to track them through the jungle. If John goes too,
We can split up. I'll go with you, Kate.
I'll chase down Ethan Rom with you.

Any pause could be fatal.
We must find her soon.
Charlie's gone too
In the late afternoon.
Kate, we must make Ethan
Release our friends.
This isn't the way it ends.
This isn't how the story ends.

Kate: We've tramped around on this trail all day.
We're not sure that those three even went this way.
Maybe we ought to go. Jack, it's not smart to stay
Here in the wild. The sky has been turning gray.
If the ground is all wet and the lighting is dim,
I don't see how we will catch him, Jack.
It's gonna be tough catching him.

Going on could be fatal.
We should turn back soon.
Not much to do
By the light of the moon.
Jack, we can't make Ethan
Release our friends.
This may be the way it ends.
This may be how the story ends.

Jack: You can put your knowledge to a good use, Kate.
We will find that man. You are doing great.
Don't abandon me. Let's keep going a while.
It can't be far, just a couple of miles.
There must be some more clues in the brush and the palm trees.
Stick with me, Kate. Don't give up on them, please.

Any pause could be fatal.
We must find her soon.
Charlie's gone too
In the late afternoon.
Kate, we must make Ethan
Release our friends.
This isn't the way it ends, Kate.
This isn't how the story ends.

Kate: Jack, you're getting tired. He said, "Stay away!"
He'll kill you if you do not obey.
You have to give up, Jack. You're not gonna find...
Hey, is that Charlie strung up over there with twine?
Oh, Jack, he's gone. Jack, he's dead! There's not a thing you can do.
We're too late, but no one blames you, Jack.
How could someone blame this on you?
Stop pounding down on his chest. Give him dignity -
Wait! I saw Charlie breathe!
You got our friend to breathe!

Pausing would have been fatal.
I have changed my tune.
Your resolve grew
In the late afternoon.
You would not let Ethan
Destroy our friends,
And you'll find Claire in the end, Jack.
You're gonna find her in the end.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Juliet Again

So I didn't really say anything about the previews for this week's episode of LOST, but the title of the episode is One of Us, which to me means major parallels to One of Them, the episode that introduced Henry. Once again, Sayid evidently intends to put his skills as a torturer to use in order to extract information from Juliet, though as uncomfortable as Jack was with this technique for Sawyer and Benry, I'm sure he'd be downright opposed in this case. Which means he must not know it's going on. Sayid somehow gets her by herself, at a point when Jack can't interfere, and goes at it. Anyway, I'm fairly certain it's a Juliet episode, dealing with her being accepted (or not) by the beach folks. (Hurley will welcome her, if no one else does...) And... flashbacking to her being accepted (or not) by the Others, which should be incredibly revealing. I'm gunning for lots of Tom in this episode, though mostly it'll probably be Ben. I can live with that... Oooh, and let's have Danny do something noble, or at least slightly nice, to show he wasn't such an absolute scum of the earth. Incidentally, didn't Juliet say she's been on the island three years? Dez too, no? Coincidence?

A Flash Before My Eyes (Same Old Lang Syne, Dan Fogelberg)

It's Desmond time again, from the same episode as before. Here, he's grumbling to himself about his recent experience following an attempt by Charlie to find out what he's been up to. To the tune of Dan Fogelberg's Same Old Lang Syne.

A Flash Before My Eyes

I'm sorry, brother; you don't want to know -
And if you knew, you'd not believe -
What I have felt, the things I've heard and viewed,
All the insights I've received...

I struggled to enlighten John at first
And said his plan was suicide.
But when that failed, I made the whole hatch burst,
Hoping Kelvin hadn't lied.

With crimson droplets drying on my hand,
I woke bewildered on the floor,
Beholding Penny, who I cherish
And I had feared I'd see no more.

Still dazed and wondering if it was true,
I sought her father for a chat
To speak the words I hadn't dared before,
But he pounded my dreams flat.

He drank a toast to privilege,
So icy and high-brow,
As his derision drove me to the edge.
Could I defy him now?

Armed with a second chance, I wouldn't let
The moment pass. I had to try.
Forget her father! I would make a stand
With the best ring I could buy.

Yes, I intended to propose to her,
But in another flash I knew
That I must leave her, though it tore
My tarnished heart and soul in two.

That creepy woman from the jewelry store
Declared to me while my head swirled
That hurting Penny was my destiny
And I had to save the world.

He drank a toast to privilege,
So icy and high-brow,
As his derision drove me to the edge.
Could I defy him now?

He drank a toast to privilege;
I stammered in surprise,
Reliving my abasement in
A flash before my eyes.

I sadly stumbled to the pub that night,
Reviewing my distressing day.
Was it self-sacrifice or just self-doubt?
Did it need to end that way?

Was I heroic or was I a fool?
I contemplated it, and then
I opened up my eyes and I was on
This island once again.

Monday, April 9, 2007

The Reader Of My Hand (Leader of the Band, Dan Fogelberg)

I just can't get my mind off of LOST. Or Dan Fogelberg either, apparently; I have a funny feeling Same Old Lang Syne is next... Anyway, here's Claire's declaration of love for Aaron, to the tune of Leader of the Band.

The Reader of My Hand

My only child, born in the wild,
My perfect little son,
I didn't think that this would work.
I was all prepared to run.
I was alone, and I had grown
More certain by the day
That you'd only have a happy home
If I gave you away.

I stood my ground, refusing
A single mother's fate.
I thought I wasn't old enough,
Thought the burden was too great.
What an adventure this has been!
At last I understand
The wisdom in that psychic's goal.
I've found love in this strange land.

The reader of my hand had tried
Making me accept this role,
Said I should because I'm innocent
And there's sweetness in my soul.
Now that you're here, I'm quite content,
Though this was not my plan.
I'm thankful for the prophecy
Of the reader of my hand.

See, my perspective shifted.
You broke through my inner wall.
It's sublime to swaddle you
Until you start to crawl.
You're left without a dad, though
Charlie plays the figure well;
I could be his wife, you know,
But only time will tell.

How could I ever choose to
Give you life, then let you go?
How could I doubt you needed me
And I needed you more?
One look at you reminds me
I can hack this mommy stuff.
Oh, Aaron, I can't ever say
"I love you" near enough.

The reader of my hand had tried
Making me accept this role,
Said I should because I'm innocent
And there's sweetness in my soul.
Now that you're here, I'm quite content,
Though this was not my plan.
I'm thankful for the prophecy
Of the reader of my hand.

So thankful for the prophecy
Of the reader of my hand.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Eye of the Island (Eye of the Tiger, Frankie Sullivan / Jim Peterik)

I had a massive LOST marathon last night with my brother, and re-watching Locke's pep talks to Jack in White Rabbit and Boone in Hearts and Minds inspired this Eye of the Tiger parody.

Eye of the Island

Listen up! I got to meet
That strange force that entrances.
Bathed in mystery, I'm back on my feet,
And I never have felt so alive.

So many crimes have peppered our pasts;
We've all survived sordid stories.
Perhaps this trip's meant to free us at last.
We can write our own futures and thrive.

It's the eye of the Island. What a beautiful sight!
I've been drawn since the day of our arrival
To this presence that drives me, filling me with delight.
I am thrilled and enthralled by the eye of the island.

Seeking grace, ducking defeat,
We are thirsty and hungry.
We're starved for meaning much more than for meat.
We'll be tested the rest of our lives.

It's the eye of the Island. What a beautiful sight!
I've been drawn since the day of our arrival
To this presence that drives me, filling me with delight.
I am thrilled and enthralled by the eye of the island.

Listen up! It's time to stop
Being bound by your story.
With a clean slate, you can start from the top,
And you'll never have felt so alive.

It's the eye of the Island. What a beautiful sight!
I've been drawn since the day of our arrival
To this presence that drives me, filling me with delight.
I am thrilled and enthralled by the eye of the island.

The eye of the Island.
The eye of the Island.
The eye of the Island.
The eye of the Island...

Girls Just Gotta Have Guns (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Robert Hazard)

Here's a parody about Ana Lucia to the tune of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, which repeats for two more pages' worth of lyrics after the last chorus I have listed, so you can just fill in the repetition after that point...

Girls Just Gotta Have Guns

Jungle people gave me a fright.
I packed some heat so I'd have a chance in a fight.
Oh, now I fear I may regret what I've done,
But girls, they gotta have guns.
Oh, girls just gotta have guns.

Did I bring some abominable blight
Upon this island by trying to save my life?
I guess it's clear that I am gonna be shunned,
But girls, they gotta have guns.
A girl's just gotta have...
It's handy in tight spots...
A gun.

Wiping out unworthy ones,
Oh, girls, they gotta have guns.
Oh, girls just gotta have guns.

Girls, they got,
Gotta have guns,
Girls gotta have...

I was not a murderous girl
Until a dirt-bag came and shattered my world.
I have to have some other plan than to run.
We girls just gotta have guns
A girl's just gotta have....
It's handy in tight spots...
Yes, a gun...

Wiping out unworthy ones,
Oh, girls, they gotta have guns.
Oh, girls just gotta have guns...

Friday, April 6, 2007

I Can't Take a Shower (You Don't Bring Me Flowers, Alan & Marilyn Bergman)

This parody of You Don't Bring Me Flowers is set in LOST's first season, but it bounces around a bit, so it's a montage of moments in which various characters are disgruntled with some aspect of island life. (Didn't I catch a glimpse of Sullivan in this week's episode? Why don't we see more of him? He's annoying but endearing...)

I Can't Take a Shower

Nikki: I can't take a shower.
Charlie: I can't play my rock songs.
Shannon: It's hard for me to breathe anymore.
Sawyer: Heck, I don't have a door
To keep bandits away.

Scott: I remember when
I had a roof above me.
Steve: I sure miss my TV.
Claire: No peanut butter jars are in sight.
Hurley: It's a bummer, dude.
Folks are starting to fight.
We don't have a stove or
A fridge, and some night,
My Walkman won't have power anymore.

Jack: They tell me I'm a natural
Leader, but I never
Intended to lead people before.
Boone: Shannon lays on the shore,
Doing nothing all day.

Sun: I'd gladly be a member
Of the group; why won't he
Let us interact?
Jin: I'm protecting my wife.
We must never give up
Living our private life.
Walt: I wish I had a turn
Using Mr. Locke's knife.
Michael: Don't call me a coward anymore!

Sullivan: Man, this rash really burns,
And it's causing me strife.
Vincent: Won't somebody feed me?
I hope I'm not lost long.
Paolo: I can't take a shower anymore.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Never Too Old (Run for the Roses, Dan Fogelberg)

I'm very much missing Rose and Bernard on LOST. I understand they will be returning before the end of the season; it's been way too long. They're such incredibly decent people, and I think their story is very romantic. While they're certainly not old, they're older than most folks you see falling in love for the first time, especially on television. Of course, I loved them before I knew they were newlyweds too, but that just adds a nice touch. If they'd just show up a little more often, they could be my favorite LOST couple. Here's a reflection by Bernard just after he learns that Rose is alive and well, to the tune of Dan Fogelberg's Run for the Roses.

Never Too Old

Boy, was I silly
To get up and leave
And not wait until we
Struck land. I have grieved.
I thought that she died;
I'm so glad I was wrong,
I feel I should burst into song.

All those long, anxious mornings
And nights full of pain.
I wish I'd been with her
The moment the plane
Crashed down through the air.
What a thrill when they said
That my darling Rose isn't dead!

And I wonder how Rose is.
Does she miss her man?
I'd hate to outlive her;
I won't if I can.
We're advanced in our lifetimes,
But my life's been enhanced,
For you're never too old for romance.
You're never too old for romance.

I'm tired, so tired
Of days when I brood,
So mired in despair
I may come off as rude.
How sweet to soon regain
The greatest love I have known,
To thrive with her, never alone!

And I wonder how Rose is.
Does she miss her man?
I'd hate to outlive her;
I won't if I can.
We're advanced in our lifetimes,
But my life's been enhanced,
For you're never too old for romance.
You're never too old for romance.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

"I Could Have Told You, Vincent, the World Was Never Meant for One as Beautiful as You..."

Nikki and Paolo are dead. I'm nearly sure of this, though the burial site was a bit away from the main beach action and we didn't see Vincent at all in this episode, unless I missed him, and my Vincent radar was tuned so high this week I don't think that was likely. Anyway, my point is, I suppose it's ever so slightly possible Vincent was off digging up Nikki while nobody was paying attention. But if they totally buried those two, I don't see how even a hearty Labrador could get her out in time to make any difference. And given Damon Lindelof's press release, it seems apparent it's curtains for those two, though if it was just done as a concession to fans, I find it frustrating; why can't people just trust that the writers know what they're doing? Why is everyone so darned impatient? Are they in a hurry for this show to be over?
Euphoric visions of Vincent flashbacks aside, my money was on a Kate flashback this week, given the previews with her and Juliet. Been longer since we got a Kate flashback - slightly - and we care more about her. Very interesting, having her meet up with Cassidy. It's girl bonding week; in the flashback, they're united by Sawyer, though not yet, while in the present, they're united by Jack. I didn't notice the first time that Kate's mom was Sabrina's aunt. This time it jumped out at me. I was angry with her for turning in her own daughter, who was trying to save her. But then she didn't want to be saved, and neither did Jack, and the point is apparently that Kate needs to learn when to just walk away. Sometimes "no" means "no". Both of her rescues backfired horribly, bringing misery not only to herself but to the people she was trying to save. It's hard to fault her too much, since her intentions are noble, but I can't help but be a little frustrated with her. (Incidentally, I find it interesting that, as in The Saint, she appropriates saints' names for herself, thanks to her religious upbringing. I don't recall her mentioning her Christian background before.)
Kate and Juliet don't like each other much. Big surprise. And if Juliet was planning to play nice before the whole gas-and-run incident, Kate went and wrecked it by shattering her pretty sandwich. Oh, yeah, and trying to knock Juliet out. That went well. Juliet is still a bit of a wild card; she seems like she's on the outs with the Others at this point, but could she have been planted? Was she really afraid of being all alone? She seemed pretty scared throughout the episode, but it's hard to tell when Others are acting. Kate, meanwhile, was heartbroken when she realized that this whole thing was her fault - her fault for shacking up with Sawyer, her fault for coming back to get Jack. Of course, it's a lot of other people's fault too, people who actually were consciously trying to hurt Jack. She wasn't, but she might have guessed he'd find out about her and Sawyer. Not that she and Jack were at the peak of their relationship when they got abducted by the Others anyway. Her remorse in the moment when she realized Jack knew about her little sleepover and later when she actually talked to him again was so overwhelming whatever frustrations I felt with her choices mostly melted away. I think Juliet is all right, just not as likable as Kate, and she sure was cold in most of their interactions. Like the way she told Kate about the cameras and about her extensive knowledge of Jack's life. And what is up with the Smoke Monster and the force field?
Just as compelling: What is up with Locke?? Can we say ominous? It's nice that he tried to defend Kate. It's nice that he came back to say goodbye. But where was he going? Why was he going? Are he and Ben the best of buddies now that he went and blew up his sub? What's the deal with his dad? Welcome to the world of "What the heck's going on?" I do not want the show trying to cheat me out of one of my favorite characters. Locke is one of the good guys. He is. But what does that mean? Sayid certainly didn't have much to do in this episode, except to say, "No way are we bringing her along!" And for Jack to say, "Oh, yes, we are!" And guess what, Sayid? In case you forgot, you just rescued boss-man. So you got John off your back, but now you've got Jack to contend with.

Left Behind
did not refer to Vincent, nor to Nikki and Paolo. It referred to those abandoned by the others, especially Kate and Juliet. And those abandoned by people who cared for them, meaning Kate and Cassidy. And the threat of being abandoned by the rest of the group for Sawyer, in by far my favorite part of the episode. But then I always do tend to like the beach stuff better.
How lovable was Sawyer here? He spent most of the episode totally bewildered, not wanting to admit that he relies upon other people to survive and certainly not that he likes being liked. I felt so bad for him, shooting Sun several tentative smiles and being crushed as she shut him down. It wasn't just about not wanting to get voted off the beach. Sawyer really does like Sun and Jin and he doesn't want to lose their friendship. Sun will forgive him. I'm sure of it. If just will take a little time. Anyway, his attempts to gut a fish were utterly pathetic (not that I could do any better). His awkward conversation with Claire was one of the most hilarious scenes I have witnessed in the show's history. Maybe my overall loopiness this week had something to do with it. But I was in gales of laughter as he tried to make small talk with her over the very vocal objections of Aaron and then lamely, evidently so as not to appear too generous, explained his gift away with, "I don't really like blankets."
And then there was his chat with the reclusive Dez, who didn't exactly object to his companionship but wanted to know his "angle". He doesn't miss a trick! And anyway, maybe he should have objected, with all the racket Sawyer was making. It seemed like people were lauding Sawyer for the boar, but did I miss something? It was Dezzy who shot it, right, the old eagle-eye? And you would think he would've done all the cooking and such too, but maybe he took Sawyer under his wing and showed him how things were done. And once the pig is skinned, I guess it's just barbecue so even lazy ol' Sawyer can handle that. Charlie was around even less than Dez, but darned if he didn't wind up with one of the best moments in the episode, when it suddenly becomes clear to Sawyer that he's been had. His incredulity is absolutely priceless. "That's gotta be about the lamest con in history!" I really studied Josh Holloway's face in this episode. His expressions were so marvelous he didn't even need to talk - but of course his talking was terrific too! It will be nice to have that week over with, though... I can't help it, I miss the nicknames!
Hurley... Hurley... Hurley...
Pure joy. That's all I can say. He is absolutely brilliant, beating Sawyer at his own game, tricking him into endearing himself to the rest of the group, to taking a more active role in the beach affairs, to admitting that he stands out as the de facto leader, whether he wants the job or not. (And it seems like after hearing Hurley out, Sawyer is actually willing to give it his best shot; it's sort of a shame Jack will be relieving him of his duties so quickly.) Hurley's so helpful, so funny, so wise, so absolutely decent... Gosh, I felt like I would burst for the love of him. I guess it's clear now he's won out over Charlie - but I'll always love you, Dom! Anyway, I seriously was giddy throughout nearly every beach scene in this episode, and then when Hurley got all serious on Sawyer it was like Gandalf's pep talk to Frodo in the depths of Moria, and it was so perfect... And then that deliriously happy barbecue scene with the lilting Hawaiian music and everyone, even dour Dezzy, smiling, just a moment of blissful serenity of the very rare sort. I can only recall maybe four or five scenes like this in the whole series. It's a perfect moment. Which probably means it's the calm before the storm, as Hurley somewhat suggests, this time recalling Gandalf's words to Pippin. Hmmm, can he be Gandalf and Sam all at once? Is that allowed? With Locke gone, I guess he can act as the resident helpful advisor. And Hurley never has an agenda like Locke sometimes does. He just wants everybody to get along. He just wants peace and brotherhood. Hurley is my hero.
Um. So yeah, between Hurley and Sawyer, the beach pretty much crowded out whatever else was happening in the episode for me, even though it was the B-plotline. I'm all for a bit of mystery, but I'm much more interested in character development. I'm a little worried about where Locke is headed, but Hurley is more astonishingly awesome than ever. Charlie, meanwhile, seems to be fading into the background a bit... Not good. Tell me they're not phasing him out in order to prepare us for his death. Somebody saaaaaaaaaaaaaaave him! Come on, Dez, put on your red cape and fly, man!
Wow. I need to go to bed before I post something radically irrational...