"Lost" in Translation: Sympathy for Goofus

Mom always liked the Marx Brothers best, actually….

Another hour closer to The End (but please, please, please, ABC, can we NOT set the whole 2.5-hour climax to the dull-witted college-boy philosopher drone of Jim Morrison?) and now comes an episode-long peek back in time takes us to the birth of Jacob and his mysteriously unnamed dark-eyed twin, and then to the glowing (literally!) headwaters of some of the most crucial riddles at “Lost”‘s heart: Is there a connection between the golden light of faith and the piercing Klieg light of science? How will the show be able to explain the distinction between the two, and the bond that links them?

More questions: Are Jacob and his twin brother merely fancier versions of Goofus and Gallant? Why are the show’s good guys just as capable of lying/murdering/pillaging as its antagonists? How will they ever bring the most intellecutally, philosophically and sc-fily sprawling series in the history of American tv dramas to a satisfying conclusion?

Forget about that last one. Already this morning the blogosphere — including the level-headed James Poniewozik at Time, who is always my go-to guy for day-after recaps — is bristling with crankiness over the episode titled “Across The Sea,” musing on the line between too much information and how-the-hell-could-they-NOT-resolve. . . .

JP raises excellent questions, as ever. Still,  I just can’t kvetch about “Lost” with a lot of conviction, no matter what happens in the next two weeks.

And, by the way, I also thought “Across the Sea” did a fairly miraculous job of explaining a lot of the series’ most complicated moral, philosophical and sci-fi-intific assertions. Let’s take them one-by-one…

but after the jump.

Jacob and the Man in Black’s creation myth: Turns out their mother was a sweet-faced dark-haired woman (see also: Rousseau) who washes up at the island heavily pregnant, only to be greeted and cared for by CJ Cregg from “The West Wing,” who turns out to be the worst mid-wife ever when she ends the birthing process by bashing mom’s brains out with a rock. She seems a bit melancholy about the whole thing — even apologizing before she goes after the helpless and nice-seeming mom — but also entirely confident of the moral purpose behind her frankly psychotic behavior. See, she’s responsible for protecting the island’s unique powers, and keeping the inherently wicked humans (“They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt and it always ends the same”) at bay. Though when it comes to fighting and destroying it’s awfully hard to out-do a murderous midwife, now, isn’t it? And why, exactly, does her goal of finding the next Island Protector mean more than another woman’s right to live? We’ve been running through these questions ever since “Lost”‘s pilot episode. And also in millennia of real-world events, e.g. the mysterious chain of mass murders currently taking place in China’s schools. Is there an Island portal somewhere in the People’s Republic?

Black/White; Good/Bad, and why there’s often no real distinction between them: Because often it’s the biggest self-described do-gooders out there (CJ, Jacob, Pope Benedict, name your favorite religious extremist here, plus also the good old United States of America) who end up doing exceptionally vile shit in the name of truth and justice. While the black-cloaked smoke monsters among us (Man in Black, etc.) have their reasons/justifications that also kind of pencil out. And when it comes down to it, who would you rather hang out with: The pompous, fruit-sharing, door-holding Gallant or his bad-ass, wickedly funny brother Goofus? Which one has the good collection of Stones records? And which one only has Michael Bolton cd’s in his Prius? I think we both know the answer to that one.

The connection between faith and science: Seemed to me they did a brilliant job with this one: Denied access to the golden waters of the river of faith, the MiB figured a whole other way of accessing the same energy: through the practical, unsentimental processes of science. Thus the stone-and-wood versions of the Dharma Initiative’s hatches and gravitational-power sources. The kvetch on the Internets is this revelation somehow crossed the line between too much info and the crucial magical realism that needs to be left mysterious. But just imagine the shitstorm of invective that would follow the finale if they DIDN’T reveal this one. See also: “Aha, they really were making it all up as they went along!”

Bad parents and everything else: Your high-functioning types always seem to be working through some serious parental bullshit – disconnection; emotional dysfunction; etc. –  and so no surprise that even the twin personifications of dark and light have inner childs with matching scars from their own self-appointed step-mom, the well-intended psycho-killer who lies, cheats, mass-murders whole villages and bashes the brains out of everyone who seems to stand in her way, including her adopted kid. . .whose name she never, ever utters, and if you think THAT isn’t kind of hurtful, well, just think about it more.

Self-determination? Not so much: Original sin. Weird parents. Emotional scars. These are the only constants that can move through time without getting their noses bloodied. Do what you like, try as hard as you might. Treasure the rare moments when you actually do seem to have some measure of control. You’re still working with the raw genetic material, and rawer-still parental/situational experiences, that someone else handed you when you stepped off the boat. Mom always liked someone better, didn’t she? Gallant will never stop handing out orange slices to prove he’s the rightful heir. And Goofus will always get crap for taking the apple. But apples don’t come pre-sliced and easily shareable. And maybe you didn’t want an apple, anyway. Maybe you and Goofus were planning to get a Slushie, or a case of beer. No matter, Goofus is taking the fall. He can’t win, but that’s how it goes in the bifurcated universe of black and white. And at least Goofus is a beautiful loser.

Weekend "Lost" study group: Dr. Nick tells all about Tuesday's episode, and points the way to next Tuesday….

“Oh Hurley; you’re such a Dahl, but Desmond’s a Peach”

By Nick Gorini
Wasn’t this week great? Just like old times, it reminded me of a typical episode from the first two seasons. A little death, a little love, a little action, a little science fiction, a little religion, and a few key ‘WTF’ moments (Listed with thoughts below). And to top it off, the promo for next week’s episode took the great Gene Wilder/Willy Wonka creepfest boat song and turned it into Black Flag B-Side (see here). Awesome.
Here are just a few of the “Wowza” moments this week:

Just when I got to liking Ilana, she blows up, Doc-Arzt style. That was quick and unceremonious, especially for all the work she had done. Will we ever know why she was in such rough condition when Jacob visited in the hospital? MAN, I hope they blow up Zoe next.

Hurley finds Ilana’s copy of Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground, chalk full of existential angst. Man, I feel bad for Ilana. Training for Jacob her whole life, carrying around Russian Downer-Lit for light reading, and then getting Blowed Up Real Good! For more good Blowed Up, see here.

Know what else Hurley found in Ilana’s tent? Jacob’s ashes! Hey, have I asked this yet? What the hell is the ash all about?

Hurley blowing up the Black Rock! Yeah!! Honestly, I was getting sick of dynamite. It’s time to move past firecrackers and guns. We’re playing a game for souls here.

So, we know that in order for people to reconnect with their island selves, they need to experience chaos, whether it be the good kind of chaos (intense love and passion) or the bad (extreme pain, physical emergency).

Oh my man, Desmond! You were great in every scene this week! And you and Smokey at the well? Best interplay of characters yet. “Why aren’t you afraid?” Smokey can’t figure it out, can he. He tried to get Desmond focused on the petty little mysteries of the island, but Desmond’s stuck in his little love shack.

The Whispers! The whispers are the souls that cannot move on spiritually, the souls still so consumed with guilt and self-loathing. Poor, poor Michael. This raises a few questions:

So the show creators say the island isn’t Purgatory, but souls being stuck on an island between Heaven and Hell? Sounds kinda like Purgatory to me.

During the first few seasons, the voices always appeared right before Smokey showed up, or right before the Others came trudging along the trail. Are these ghosts forces for good, or bad?

Does Smokey know about these ghosts?

Souls stuck on the island. Guess what? Isabella’s ghost appeared to Hurley, and so does…. JACOB!! Does this make Jacob a lost soul?! Hmmm…

And on that note, why is Alpert so, so bloodthirsty now? To be honest, I think it’s a plot device: the writers wanted to create tension and conflict for Hurley, and they needed a reason to split off a few characters (Miles, Ben and Alpert) who will show up again in a few episodes, ostensibly to save the day at a moment when all hope seems lost. Rang just a hair hollow for me.

Smokey whittling away at his stick while Sawyer fumes was an important scene, for a few key reasons. Much like all the characters, they run around, leading busy but meaningless lives. Working at something, doing some sort of activity, until that moment of clarity comes. It was almost as if Smokey was taunting Sawyer.

Desmond getting thrown down the well! Wow! The instant I saw the well, I knew Desmond would be back in The Hatch. A great scene, anyway.

Biggest. Shocker. Of the night: Sideways Desmond turning wheelchair-bound Locke into a hood ornament. I always feel terrible for Desmond (he’s been put through so much), but Holy Cow! Can Locke’s spirit take any more of a beating? So why did Desmond do this? There really are only three possibilities to consider:

1.  He knows Smokey takes over Locke’s body and that the only way to prevent Smokey from destroying everything is to kill Sideways Locke.

2. He knows that the only way to re-awaken Jack is to have him meet his polar opposite, Locke. And that most of our characters need to converge in one spot.

3.  He knows that Locke can be re-awakened in his possessed body, but that it takes some sort of cataclysmic event to re-adjoin Locke’s soul. Time will tell.

Wowzas, predictions and more follow this here jump….
These are not “Wowza” moments, but worth noting nonetheless:

Hello again, Dr. Pierre Chang! Nice cameo. Where’s Charlotte?

Hello again, Bruce Davison! Vaguely passive-aggressive Dr. Brooks is back!

Hello again, Libby! Thanks for waking up Hurley! And thanks for the assist, Desmond!

All this time, we’ve thought Sideways Hurley had it made. But again, as we see, the same issues follow our characters around, at least until they’re resolved internally. Did anybody else find it ironic that Alpert was pissed at Hurley for lying about Jacob’s presence? Seems a little hypocritical.

Officially, all potential candidates other than Jin are at one camp. Though, as claimed by next week’s episode, there is still, ‘The Last Recruit.’.

Desmond’s order number at Cluck’s? 42! Ha! Will these numbers never stop!?

Hurley wondered why Libby’s ghost never paid him a visit, whether in spirit form or channeling Whoopi Goldberg. But she was an innocent on the island – she never had an ugly choice to make that haunted her for the rest of her, um eternity?.. So other than Michael, which ghosts do we think are still stuck on the island?

This week, Doc Jensen does a good job of mostly staying on task with his literary references. He mostly sticks to Dostoevsky (with a dash of Kierkegaard) and his importance to this season of Lost. Doc feels that the show is firmly calling itself out as existentialist, and that key concepts, such as “the idea that reflection creates opportunity.” Doc also says that perhaps the island’s power is that it creates consciousness for these characters, and the chaos that puts all of these people in peril is what helps them elevate to their higher consciousness. It’s a good read, if you’ve got at least an hour to spare.

On that ‘Chaos’ note, I once had a boss who, in the midst of some personal/professional upheaval, told me with such an air of authority that it etched in my brain, “Out of chaos, there is always opportunity.” I loved that quote, and I think of it often. It helps push me through some of the worst times in my life. Of course, that boss was fired and divorced shortly after telling me that, so I guess it’s all perspective…

The boy ghost who visited Smokey again seems to have aged. I’m not sure who/what this kid is, but I think it senses when Smokey has a desire to break “The Rules”, and shows up to ref the fight (“Hey! I want a good, clean fight! Know hitting below the belt, no biting, and no killing of candidates!”).

Did you notice that Miles didn’t know who “Michael” was? That’s because when they were hanging out on the freighter, his name was “Kevin”. But Miles knew Michael was a liar, so why didn’t he know his real name?

Jack sure seemed serene when talking to Hurley, but did you catch the look on his face when he saw Smokey? Can Jack continue to take a backseat to Hurley/Jacob/The Island, or is he going to have one last burst of potentially destructive decisiveness?

I do understand that this was a Hurley episode, but it sure felt like what took place with Desmond and Locke/Smokey overshadowed e
verything else.

I also wish Michael had gotten a little more closure – there was some, but why didn’t he get a chance to confront/freak out Ben? Why didn’t he get to reunite with his son? Why didn’t he mention murdering Ana Lucia (who will also be reappearing soon)? Michael, you may have been a little grating at times, but you were ultimately underserved by the storyline. And bottom line: you provided the show with one of the most shocking moments ever. Have we really seen the last of you?

And damn Desmond! Why does the island want to keep you buried underground? Why must you be held down? It’s a bum deal. But Smokey knew he couldn’t kill you, so he put you somewhere to avoid removing fear from anyone else. That’s Desmond’s real power, see? Smokey represents fear and negativity, and that’s how he holds power over others. With Desmond showing up oozing love, confidence, and bravery, well, that just won’t do. Have a swim in the drink, Brutha!

Another key moment of irony: In the original timeline, Ben murders Locke. In this new sideways timeline, it is Ben who rushes to Locke’s side to save him! I also liked that Ben’s really growing into his hero role – he’s right to question a single man parked across the street watching school children.

You did notice how quickly Desmond responded when asked if he had a child and what his name was. Sideways Desmond seems to know more than Island Desmond. How much he knows, we don’t know…

Stupid Award: It was tough this week, because nobody really did anything truly stupid. Except for Ilana. So, for violently setting down a bag of 300-year-old dynamite to make a point and then blowing up? Ilana, you get this week’s Stupid Award.
Anything to tell you about next week?

At least one more KEY character from the past will be showing up soon. Someone who was a regular cast member.

Jack and Smokey have a pow-wow. And, even if he didn’t have specific guidance from Jacob, Hurley did the right thing this week. You’ll see.

Do you think Miles, Ben and Alpert increased their odds of survival by not heading to Smokey’s camp?

So Sun AND Locke will be heading to the ER at the same time. Jack better be scrubbed up and ready to operate. And what do you think will happen when all these folks, er, candidates, end up in the same hospital room?

I encourage you very closely watch Locke and Smokey over the next two episodes. Why? Terry O’Quinn’s giving us all sorts of clues in his performance, but we’ve got to pay attention.

Yes, I know I’ve mentioned it each week, but get ready: Ilana blowing up was like a mozzarella stick at TGI Fridays. The rest of fried hero platter will be arriving shortly. More ice tea?
Thanks for reading and watching!

P.S. when we get to what I will call the Bye Week (that is, the week of April 27, when Lost will rerun Ab Aeterno), I’ll provide you with what I hope is a succinct essay about what this show is trying to tell us, and why.

"Lost" in Translation: Go Cluck Yourself

Emotional eating, and proud of it, yo.

A very short analysis this time out, and late besides, due in part to ravenous wire-chewing squirrels (no, really, they totally cut off the Internet last night, the bastards) and the usual time/work constraints. Poor, poor, pitiful me, etc.

Ah, but “Lost.” Everybody Loves Hugo, which means a journey into the alternate life, and ever-deepening psyche of one Hugo ‘Hurley’ Reyes, whose happy-go-extremely-lucky alt-version in L.A. still has a bit of the spook in him, particularly when Libby shows up.

He’s puzzled at first, but intrigued, and then when she leans in for a smooch it all comes back. As Dr. Nick put it last week: Love is all you need.

But there’s a real yin-yang thing taking place between the alt-characters and their island-bound counterparts. For Hurley the consummation of his Libby fantasy seems to elevate his growing confidence a notch or three. He’s completely comfortable wielding power over Jack, for instance. And Jack is comfortable being wielded….though that look he gives not-Locke when they finally come face-to-face implies another set of feelings: the ones telling him that ultimately it’s all going to boil down to him going mano-a-mano with Smoke Boy, and whoever wins goes home with all the marbles.

Other notions:

1. That awkward bit of exposition Michael provided about the whispers (they’re the souls locked in island purgatory) worked on a narrative level, but still felt like a bit of a punt to me. I’d imagined they were, at least, the voices of time travelers, of the spirits who were simply visiting that time/place/realm but not really OF the t/p/r. That’s what I thought, anyway. And what does the purgatory answer imply about where the rest of the story is headed?

2. Not-Locke tossing Desmond into the well, and alt-Desmond running his sleek sedan right over an unsuspecting alt-Locke were obviously mirror actions, which I’d guess have something to do with the perp’s desire to drag their victim closer to the yin of their yang (or vice versa), and give them the flash of insight/connection experienced by Charlie when he was choking to death, drowning to death or otherwise having some edge-of-existence revelation. The coming attractions flashes were extremely intent on making sure we knew they weren’t dead, at any rate.

3. You know what this season lacks so far? The unexpected, yet absolutely perfect use of some obscure rock/pop oldie none of us have even thought of in decades. C’mon, dudes.

4. Here’s a prediction, stemming in part from my bitching about the whispers revelation: Gird yourself for some serious Hate about the “Lost” finale, no matter where it goes. Particularly if it goes the way I want to, with an emphasis on the dream-reality-as-deeper-truth aspects of the series. Just a prediction.

Dr. Nick on "Lost": No Man is an Island, Even When He's On One

No man is an island, even when he’s stuck on one

Jack, Sayid, Hurley and Sawyer, with friend

By Nick Gorini

Well – here it is. This week was the official beginning of the end. The biggest puzzle piece remaining now locked into place. Thus begins the mad tumble to the show finale, questions answered, issues resolved, lives lost, souls saved, and most important, solving the biggest mystery nagging us all: What happened to that damn dog Vincent?
I could go in-depth and recap this week’s episode, but I think “Happily Ever After” spoke for itself. Other than adding a couple of new questions, it used another deck-shuffling Desmond episode to lay down the law.
Let’s quickly state what we know/don’t know as of today:
What we know:
Love Matters. It certainly matters more than magnets, more than anything. It is love that redeemed Desmond. It is love that opens Desmond’s heart and this week, his mind. It’s clear that each character’s capacity for love, in its many guises (for your spouse/partner, for your friend, for your children, for your humanity, for yourself, even for your enemies) will determine the fate of this universe we’re experiencing.
Whatever Jacob may be, and he is most certainly not God-like, his power is in his capacity to love. Is Smokey the personification of evil? Not by a long shot, but what he represents is the inability to love. This might be something Smokey was born with, but I doubt it (and we will find out in a few weeks when he get his backstory).
As I think back on the Alpert episode, ‘Ab Aeterno’, I understand why Jacob couldn’t grant Richard his first two wishes (to bring Isabella back, and for absolution). Both wishes were only something Alpert could resolve (notice I do not say ‘grant’). Sometimes, love is holding onto something no matter what may come to pass. But sometimes, love is also about letting go. Jacob couldn’t give Alpert Isabella, because she really is gone, and Alpert needs to love her enough to let go. And Jacob couldn’t grant Alpert absolution, because true absolution comes from within. Absolution is an incredible, powerful act of love. However, Jacob can give Alpert all the time he needs to sort this stuff out, right?
Maybe that’s how the island is serving our heroes: It’s the therapist’s couch, with no time-limit.
With Desmond, he experiences the essence of love – love has no boundaries. We can forget about Jacob/Smoky and Faraday physics – these are the Lost McGuffins (McGuffins are plot devices that to keep our eyes glued to the screen. Think of McGuffins as the candy coating on a chewable aspirin). Love transcends time, space, squabbles between two petty island-bound brothers, even mortality. Thanks to Charlie’s not-so-gentle nudging, Desmond’s pursuit of love will cause two worlds to collide. The end result? Well…
For much of the show’s run, we were lead to believe this show was about survival (even Sawyer said so). But it’s about the survival of love.
Science vs. Faith? I think we know their answer now. This Desmond episode is the official pronouncement of the Lost team: they’ve hung their coat and hat on the rack of faith.
The Sideways World Ain’t No Epilogue. For all the folks out there who began to doubt our storytellers, or worried that what we were witnessing in the ‘Sideways World’ was nothing more than some sort of ‘Flash Forward’, this episode put all of that to rest. Instead of thinking about everything so linearly in terms of events and actions happening in a specific order, look again at our beloved characters. Their internal character arcs, the journey towards love (or currently, in the case of someone like Sayid, running away from it) is the linear line to follow. It doesn’t matter what timeline or location it’s taking place at/on/when – the souls of these characters are evolving or devolving in a straightforward way.
Nearly everyone is merging consciousnessesesses. We’re seeing all of our characters flashing to their other lives. What will be interesting is what these folks do with this information. If you have a good sideways life, why would you want to give it up? Or merge it with your lousy one? Or vice-versa?
Jacob and Smokey aren’t Good vs. Evil. Not quite powerful enough to go that far. They have issues like the rest
What we don’t know:
Who knows how much. For me, the only big twist in this episode was that Eloise appeared to know everything. How? Why? I understand why she wants to keep Desmond away from the other world. She finally has a reality where she didn’t kill her son. But she also told Desmond he “Wasn’t ready yet.” Does this mean she’s stalling? Coming to terms with what must be done? Or is there some specific time frame in which Desmond’s crossing over will allow Eloise to keep her wish intact? And how much did ‘sideways’ Widmore really know? If he was as knowledgeable as his wife, he certainly seemed tight-lipped about it. And are there other ‘Sideways’ folk who know?
I know it hasn’t come up lately, but what the hell is the ash? I really don’t obsess over many of the little mysteries of the show, but for crikey’s sake, could someone definitively state what he Smokey-containing ash is?
Widmore’s motivations. Sure, he pleads with Desmond about saving his daughter and grandchild, and laments the loss of his son, but he was pretty dry-eyed when one of his people became chicken fried. And he certainly sheds no tears over abusing his son-in-law. Is he seeking island power, immortality, or trying to pull ‘sideways’ Faraday back into his world (so he can play that game of catch that never transpired)? Or is he really trying to save us all? We don’t really know.
Where are Penny, Eloise, and any of the other remaining living folk? We saw them in the sideways world, sure, but where are they in our timeline? Same goes for Walt, Ji Yeon and Aaron. Are there any other off-island power players I’m missing?
When two worlds collide, Iron Maiden makes a song. But more important, what happens to Aaron and Ji-Yeon? Do they cease to exist? And if Ji Yeon turns out to be a candidate, how does that get handled? Huh? Tell me that! And where’s sideways Michael?
Why is Widmore’s team on a timeline?
Why is it so important when some of these things happen, and even more odd, why to they all so readily chuck their plan out the window after arguing about rushing things? Could it be that Widmore knows exactly what’s taking place in the Sideways world, and wants to time everything with Desmond’s actions? And what is the specific sacrifice he’s expecting from Desmond?
Where did Sideways Desmond’s wedding ring go? In the season premiere, he suddenly appeared next to Jack. Desmond was wearing a wedding ring. So why doesn’t he have one when he seem picking his baggage up at the airport in this episode. Maybe scores of women throw themselves at Desmond’s feet, and he wears a fake wedding ring to hold them back, all the better to focus on his job for Mr. Widmore. Nah. Maybe it’s a mistake? Nah. So, what’s up with that?
What rule is Desmond violating? Apparently, free will gets in the way of a lot of power-playing, does it not? Eloise doesn’t like anything that falls out of her juggling two worlds routine. And why couldn’t Charlie see his own death in his visions?
What happened to Rose and Bernard when Jughead may (or may no
t) have exploded?
Did they blow up? Did they time travel? The two of them had made peace with what they had, and seemed to be content – did that mean the island was done with them?
Some fun little factoids, hints and ‘Easter Eggs’ worth noting:

So, many parallels with older episodes this week. Charlie and Desmond sharing a drink (like they did on the beach years ago), Widmore telling Desmond the same thing Eloise did a few seasons back (“The island isn’t done with you yet.”), Charlie’s eerie underwater moments, Faraday again playing Chopin on the piano, etc. After reading several recaps, including Doc Jensen’s, and re-watching the episode, I counted at least thirty direct references to previous episodes. I don’t know how these writers keep track of all this?

As a side note, what is the significance that Penny and Desmond meeting in the same empty arena where Jack and Desmond met years ago?

Did you notice the painting in Widmore’s office? Scales of justice, with a black rock on one side, and a white rock on the other, evenly balanced.

If you get a chance to watch this episode again, be sure to pay attention to the brooch Eloise Hawking is wearing. Compare it to what we’ve seen her wear before. It’s a clue.

This episode had so much ground to cover, they dispensed with a recap and opening credits. More show for your dollar!

Henry Ian Cusick is a great actor – don’t know why I didn’t know much about him before, but he certainly sells his episodes. I’m always gripped by Desmond’s various plights. And looking back at his initial introduction, it was so interesting how he came about on the show. He was the first guy we saw in the 2nd season premiere, listen to a record, making breakfast and exercising inside the hatch before our Losties tried blowing it up. As a character, the flaws we saw with Desmond (inertia, self-pity, borderline alcoholism, slight madness), were slowly revealed to be part of a much bigger picture. A lot of credit goes to the writers for how they handled the growth and reveals of Desmond!

Penny’s dad Widmore’s is married to Eloise, who’s son Faraday loves Charlotte, who works with Dr. Chang, who fathered Miles, who works with Sawyer, who captured Kate, who helped Claire, who talked to Desmond, who sat next to Jack, who spoke with Sayid, who helped Jin, who’s trying to save Sun, who needs help from Jack, who was married to Juliet, gave birth to David, who played a recital along with the son of Dogen, who spoke to Jack, who was at the hospital with Sayid’s brother and Charlie, who’s brother Liam spoke to Sawyer at the police station, where Charlie was picked up by Desmond, who talked to Hurley at the airport, who gave Locke a job, where he works with Arzt and Ben, where Ben teaches Alex… Seems pretty clear to me. Got that?

Awesome, awesome references to Desmond’s time in the hatch. Getting the MRI with a panic button, much like the button the poor bastard had to endlessly press in the hatch.

“Let’s have a drink. A toast to our indispensability!” What a sweet boss Widmore turned out to be… But I bet HR would tell him to personalize his compliments a bit more.

Nice touch with Faraday not knowing how to translate all his time-travel scribblings.

Stupid Award this week?
Got to go to Sayid, who found no irony or humor in snapping two men’s necks and then telling someone that those guys were the dangerous ones…

Another really nice touch: Where Desmond and Penny met this week? It’s where he said goodbye to her as he trained to sail around the world!

The test bunny’s name, Angstrom, was a nice nod to John Updike.
So, what can I tell you about the next few weeks?

Again, Doc Jensen’s got an exhaustive post about, well, everything. My favorite Jensen tangent this week was declaring that George Minkowski’s character (hello again, Fisher Stevens) is a reference to General George Santayana, most often referenced in regards to his most-famous quote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Wanna know how cool Lost is? Lost is so cool that the magazine Popular Mechanics covers the scientific elements of the show. They’re big fans, although this week they’re mad, or about as mad as scientists can get. Why? Lost’s use of electromagnetism is well, ahem, unrealistic. Read more here: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/digital/fact-vs-fiction/lost-happily-ever-after-fact-check.

Again, the real end game has finally begun. Prepare to be heartbroken about some events. Very heartbroken.

Benjamin Linus gets a girlfriend, and it’s not quite whom you’d expect. Or maybe it is. Plus, Ben gets a shiner from a rather pissed off time traveler.

Some more surprises about our candidates are in store, and some surprises about Jacob and Smokey. I wouldn’t call them ‘Game Changers’, but I would definitely call them ‘Illuminators’.

More death! More romance! And yes, more humor, too.

On that note, don’t forget that Juliet plans to take Sawyer out for coffee… Even death can’t keep her from intending to keep her appointments!

As you noticed in the promo, Michael and Libby come back for next week’s episode, which is all about Hurley. One comes back on the island, and the other in the sideways world.
Thanks for reading and watching….

"Lost" in Translation: And the Penny Dropped

Mmmmmm, electro-doughnuts….

Still a step or two off pace due to my flash-sideways into the fluish world, so I’ll cede most of the turf to the far-superior ministrations of my colleague Dr. Nick, pausing only to offer a few random-ish observations on what I think will be turning point in the entire arc of “Lost.” And a damned fine hour of TV, to boot…

Observation 1: An entire hour of network TV drama played without the vast majority (any?) of the original characters, in a reality that only may or may not be real, but in which life seemed more or less normal until one mysterious old woman, (Eloise) made cryptic reference to a whole other reality that until that moment in the episode no one else had even mentioned beyond the most implicit crinkle of the forehead, or briefly-puzzled expression, or psychotic-seeming rant about glimpses of…..something. Yes, this was the strangest hour in the history of American network TV. And God bless ABC for putting it up there.

Observation 2: Also God bless “Lost” for not just respecting it characters, but also having such obvious, and overwhelming affection for them. It’s a terrific mythology, to be sure. The weave of quantum physics, philosophy, religion and bone-crunching action is simply miraculous. But it would all be immediately forgettable if it weren’t for the deep sense of character the show has; its remarkably nimble, and yet deeply felt, character studies, and its perpetual emphasis on the visceral — and entirely universal — conflicts that animate, and often devastate, virtually all of its characters. Except Keamy.

Observation 3: Felt sorta nice to hear “You All Everybody” again, didn’t it? Driveshaft did sorta rock, back in the day…

Observation 4: Worst acting in the history of “Lost”? The actress who plays Penny (name tk) trying to look natural running the stairs in the stadium. Body too rigid. Arms so tight against her sides she looked like Barbie Track Star, or something. I usually love that actress, and of course the writing of the scene (echoing Desmond’s original off-island appearance in the stadium with Jack) was right on. But when I watched her runnning what I saw was a British woman whose regimen leans closer to ciggies and tea than sprints and fartleks. I’m just sayin’.