"Lost" in Translation: The End of the End

The father, the son and the holy hottie

In the end there were no fireworks. No yelling and screaming. No fingers in the chest nor recitations of missed ballgames, withering slights, alcoholic screw-ups or Oedipal murderousness. The surface anger melted and all that remained – in the sheer white light outside the Unitarian church – was a father and son sobbing happily in one another’s arms.

Their friends sat in the pews, unbloodied and unbowed. And, finally, together.

The island, with its heroes, villains, monsters and constant life-threatening struggles, was less a literal place than a stage for a greater emotional battle: a thrill-ride version of psychotherapy:, where the patient is made to confront, engage and then move beyond the obsessions and weaknesses that have defined his/her life.

Everyone’s answer is different. For Jack it was accepting surrender; for Hurley it regaining self-confidence; for Miles it had something to do with discovering his faith in duct tape.

What matters is that what once were lost are now found. And what was “Lost” is now a memory. A long series of memories, actually, packed with action and adventure and dark humor, but also yearning and heartbreak and frustration and all the stuff of human exerpience. But no matter the blood and bombs and bad-ass thugs and monsters and on and on, the source of all that white light  came from within the characters themselves.

The mythology, as cool and confusing as it could be, was exactly like the cool, confusing mythology we all weave for ourselves: A Hollywood-style animation of the internal drama flickering behind all of our eyes.

Are you ready to move on? That’s always the question. And for most of us, pretty much most of the time, the answer is emphatic: Helll, no. Thus psychotherapy, if you’re a secular urban mod with health care and/or expendable cash. College kids can take philosophy classes, and engage in dorm room bickerfests about reality. Everyone else gets religion, or worst case, primetime tv. And just in case you wanted to wrap it all up in one tidy package, these last six years have also given us “Lost.”

A simplified version of the bigger versions, of course. But also free(ish) and pretty to look at, and way more often than not, some lovely combination of thoughtful, mysterious, action-packed and hilarious.

So much to love, hate, watch and debate over the years. But as we hit the final moments yesteday – in the church with all the central characters (but no Mr. Eko! Where the hell was Mr. Eko!?! Or Michael? Or Walt? Or Aaron?), the stained glass-of-many-religious-symbols and the sheer white light outside, was that specific answers to specific plot points weren’t the point of the story. Like every mythological story (see also: the Bible, political speeches, etc) they were parables about bigger problems and bigger ideals. Animations of the spiritual pursuit that gives meaning to everything else that happens in our lives

Everyone has unanswered questions. Why the Egyptian statue? What did it mean for your sideways life in L.A. if you got killed on the island? What did it mean for your island life if you got killed in L.A.? (wither the mortal soul of Keamy?) Was the island purgatory? Or was purgatory actually in the sideways world in L.A.?

You could debate all these questions, and about 100 more, for the rest of eternity. You could branch off into different faiths and sub-faiths, you could create philosophical schools and vast cultures based on your reading of the “Lost” mythology. It’d be ridiculous, but anything plus about a millennium can seem to add up to that much. Then you could take up arms and try to wipe out all the heathens who took up with the other faiths.

For now the “Lost” world will just divide into different critical camps, write reviews, post on the internet, and etc. But the root impulse – the reading of liturgy, the interpretation, the delineation of right, wrong and arguable – follows in the grand tradition of all faith-based reasoning. Is it ridiculous to take a tv show so seriously? Certainly. But wait a thousand years and. . .

I loved the ending, myself. I was always in for the internal story, anyway. For me the action itself mattered way less than the way it was reflected in the characters’ eyes – or, more accurately, how it sprang from the characters’ internal conflicts, flaws and aspirations. I may not have understood exactly where that big stone bathtub plug came from, or why the Man in Black got smoke-ified in there, while Jack emerged alive, only to fall victim to the gash in his side (did anyone miss the stigmata reference?) and then to die, happily, in the same bamboo jungle where he arose at the start of the series, determined to face down the smoke and flames and fix everything and everyone in his path.

Now the time for action had gone. He had finally fixed something within himself, and with his friends safely airborne, a sweet dog at his side he could rest. The journey was over.

Hello, Dr. Nick!: Deep "Lost" Analysis – Still Smokeyin'

Dave’s not here!

By Nick Gorini
 
In a break from form, I feel the need to start off this post by issuing this week’s Stupid Award to yours truly. Why? Well, I spent last week telling everyone and their brother that ‘The Last Recruit,’ this week’s episode of ‘Lost’, was going to possible be an absolute bloodbath of Eli Roth-like proportions.
 
My Intel and my Spidey Sense were WAY off.
 
Consider this my formal mea culpa: For getting caught up in being the first with the gossip scoop, for paying more attention to what the internets were saying (I mean, they never lie, right?) and less to the pulse of the story, for not being diligent in my fact-checking, and for being gullible, I have won this week’s Stupid Award!
 
Was I confused, living in an alternate timeline? Was I manipulated and swayed by the Smoke Monster? Did Jacob steer me in this misguided direction to teach me a larger lesson? Was it because the episode cryptically appeared on the date of 4/20, Man?
 
I bring up 4/20 for a couple of reasons: The Losties crashed on a tropical island, looking much like Hawaii. Tropical islands (like Hawaii) are typically known for growing certain types of plants that have a known, enthusiastic following. Let’s put it this way – I imagine Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson might even have vacation homes near Hydra Station (hydroponics is a popular topic of discussion with this subculture).
 
With this information in mind, I ask you, why the hell didn’t Jacob try having a toke with Smokey? His name is Smokey, after all. Why didn’t Smokey try growing some weed in a quiet, fern-covered patch of his back yard, next to the chicken coop? While I don’t believe in any chemical cure-all (this is Lost – resolution has to come from within), can you imagine how different our storyline would be if Smokey had the occasional, well, smoke?
 
For all his troubles and eternal enslavement, all Jacob offered Smokey was half a carafe of table wine (back in Alpert’s episode). I’d be pissed, too. Give me something a little stronger. Of course, you don’t have to be Catholic to know that what Jacob offered Smokey wasn’t really wine; it was something much stronger. Smokey knew that, too, which is why he smashed that sacrament and faith into shards littering the hallowed ground.
 
Perhaps that’s what Jacob wanted for Smokey. To not ply himself with narcotic, to not be complacent and trapped. After all, ‘It only ends once. Everything before that is progress.’ Maybe Jacob wants this escalation, maybe Jacob needs this chaos to help save Smokey. To help save his soul. To help Smokey embrace his destiny. Wonder what that could be?…
 
By the way, have I mentioned that I still haven’t stopped thinking about ‘Ab Aeterno’?
 
This week’s Aye, Caramba! moments…and more….after the jump:


Locke and Ben in the ambulance on the way to the ER. Locke is awake, alert and remembers his penning wedding to Peg Bundy, er, Helen. He’s still in there, folks.

Sun recognizing Locke on the way into the hospital. But maybe she remembered Terry O’Quinn from ‘The Stepfather’. He was real creepy in that one, too.

In what seemed a weak stretch, Kate threatens overly-flirtatious Sawyer with the knowledge that he went to Australia for nebulous reasons. Didn’t buy that logic, but I did believe her when she said she didn’t kill anyone. Wonder what the real story is.

Of course Miles and Sawyer are the cops to catch Sayid. Nice touch, tripping Sayid with a garden hose to capture him. However, the real Sayid would’ve been able to snap Sawyer’s neck like a matchstick.

Desmond ‘bumping’ into Claire and getting her to a lawyer’s office (“Hi, Ilana! Glad to see you in one piece!). Question: Did Desmond know that Claire and Jack were going to meet at that moment, or was that an event that Desmond had no previous knowledge of, but once it happened, got affirmation that his puzzle pieces are coming together?

The brief exchange between Nadia and Sayid set the stage nicely for one of the best scenes of the evening: Sayid and Desmond at the well. Can Desmond’s reminder of love redeem our favorite undead assassin? Well, if Ben can suddenly be a good guy, why not?
Ohhh! Ohhh! Zoe has missiles now!! WOW!! Somebody please kill off Zoe now. Bland acting, tepid character, bad lines… What’s not to hate?

I like that the show handled the two separate Claire/Jack meetings with some strange, unresolved awkwardness. If the show had tried to handle either situation with some cheesy score in the background, and smiles, it would’ve been too fake, too unearned. Jack’s shock at the law office, and Claire’s barely contained bitterness on the island were the right notes to play.

The baby is fine! The baby is fine! Yes, it would’ve been really brave of the creators to go way dark, have Jin and Sun’s baby not survive the shooting. But that might have been just too heavy. Not only that, but I don’t think it would’ve worked for what the show is trying to tell us. Lost isn’t about punishing innocents/innocence. Everyone other than Walt arrived on that island with some intense inner baggage – even that smug dog, Vincent (wonder if his flashback would’ve revealed a life spent peeing on carpets, terrorizing neighbor cats and NOT fetching balls).

We knew Jack and Locke would meet on an operating table, but it was a nice touch to have it via a mirror reflecting Locke’s face at (or into) Jack’s consciousness.

So Smokey pretended to be Christian (MOST of the time – see bullet point below for some continuity issues with that statement). Oddly, I felt that Smokey was about 95% honest with Jack in their fireside chat. Right up until the end about all of the candidates needing to go back. He’s just rounding them up to make an easier kill. I also liked that look Jack had when Smokey was speaking ill of Locke – I swear Jack wanted to slap him.

Pay attention alert! As a side note, have you noticed how virulent Smokey’s hatred is whenever he speaks of Locke now? These little speeches sound an awful lot like someone beating up on themselves. It sounds more like self-disgust and shame to me.

Sawyer has some good moments this week, and momentarily, he grabbed pole position when he rounded up most of the troops to stage a coup. And he knew that Kate would force his hand in bringing Claire along.

Desmond at the well, waiting to baptize Sayid and make him a born-again loverboy. I really liked that Desmond’s approach wasn’t to refute anything Smokey promised Sayid. “What will you tell her.” Yet another great Desmond Hume scene. And no, Sayid didn’t shoot him. But did he simply walk away, or does Desmond have to wait for Lassie to come back with help?

It seems obvious that Smokey wanted Sawyer and crew to get on the boat and make it over to Widmore island. In fact, Smokey seemed awfully happy to have Jack to himself.

And don’t worry, Jack. I don’t think you really killed Juliet. After all, you two seem to have raised a fine young boy.

We finally get Jin and Sun’s reunion! The only bummer is that what should’ve been a pretty significant show moment, was overshadowed by the necessity to end on a cliffhanger and propel the plot. That was a shame.
 
A little trivia from a trivial mind:

Smokey really didn’t know why Sun lost her voice. That is an important point to remember.

There’s certain evidence here that Smokey has no idea about the alternate timeline. This is also extremely important (“Here come da Resurrection!”)

To a certain extent, I think as an audience,
we’ve assumed that we know as much as Desmond, but that definitely isn’t the case. Desmond knows a little more; probably not the whole enchilada, but more than we do.

Speaking of Desmond, his sailboat sure seems to be in pretty good shape after all this time. And stocked with canned goods?
Those silly writers are still messing around with those numbers! I got this bit of trivia from Lostpedia: “The first flash was John Locke’s (candidate #4); the third flash was Saywer’s (candidate #15), the fourth flash was Sayid’s (candidate #16), the fifth flash was Jack’s (candidate #23) and the last flashback was Jin and Sun’s (candidate(s) #42.” What are we counting up to, guys?

Someone tell me why Sawyer, who has used Star Wars references in his insults throughout the show, didn’t know who the hell Anakin Skywalker was? Crikey, he even used a Burt Reynold’s reference to insult Lapidus – he obviously knows his pop-culture.

This might have been a “Blooper”, but I think it was intentional: Jack and Locke’s fireside conversation was at night. But when they walked back, it was in daylight. Long conversation, or clunky symbolism?

Claire and Desmond’s elevator number? 15.

This episode had more character juxtapositions than any previous episode. You had Jack taking orders from Sawyer, Widmore conning Sawyer, Jack’s son David giving Jack the pre-surgery pep-talk and affection Christian never gave him, helpful sideways Ben not knowing much about Locke, Smokey calling Locke a “sucker” juxtaposed with Ben calling Locke a “Believer” in a previous episode, Zoe giving Smokey a sundown deadline (just like Smokey did at the Temple), Jack saving Locke’s life at the ER vs. Smokey saving Jack’s life on the beach, Locke greeting Jack with “Nice day for a swim” – which is what Sawyer said to Juliet in the same situation, and lastly, that great boat scene with Jack and Sawyer. Jack being Locke, Sawyer being Jack, then Jack being Sawyer by jumping off the boat (like Sawyer jumping out of the chopper).

Peter mentioned this in his post – who impersonated Christian Shepherd off-island? Smokey claimed to have impersonated Christian, but Jack saw him off-island. Was it Jacob? Was it Smokey? Or by golly, was it actually Christian?
 
What’s on the road. A head?

I mentioned this last week, but at least one more KEY character from the past will be showing up soon. Someone who was a regular cast member. Someone “Special”.

There are still some unexplored places on this island. We will see some of these places before we’re through.
As speculated, we will soon be getting Smokey’s back story. Perhaps we’ll meet his mom, of whom he speaks quite fondly. I wonder what family photo day was like?

 “Comb your hair! Sit up straight, mister! You made a mess of those pants when you got all smoke-monstery! Stop killing the photographer! I can’t take you anywhere, young man! Why can’t you be more like your brother Jacob?”

I’m also keeping this bullet point from last week and using it again, because I think some people aren’t quite catching it: I encourage you, no, I implore you, to 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.

I ask you: Are you prepared for an ending that may not meet your needs? One that may not give you all the answers to the petty island mysteries? Or more interestingly, are you rooting for a dark, emotionally complicated ending, or hoping for a resolved, happier one? Something to think about.
 
Thanks for reading and watching!

Hello, Dr. Nick! Or: Bullitts, Badges and Sons O’ Bitches

…..and your little dog, too!

BY NICK GORINI
 
In honor of Sawyer, man of action, there will be NO preamble this week. I’m starting with a few clarifications and theories before we jump into a recap.

There seems to be a growing concern by some vocal viewers that the ‘Sideways’ timeline is actually an epilogue of what is currently happening on the island. And that, if that’s the case, it kinda stinks. Folks, that’s not the case. These events are occurring side-by-side. It’s messy business trying to explain the How and Why, but brutha, you gotta believe me.

This week they showed us an intact plane, and an in-use submarine. One way or another, Smokey is getting off the island. And he will make it to the sideways timeline. And then it will get really, really messy.

How messy? How about Sawyer shooting at Sawyer? How about Locke meeting ‘Flocke’ (Flocke is the internet nickname for Fake Locke). Or how about nice guy sideways Ben getting the crap beat out of him by a confused Desmond? I’m not saying I’m saying these things will be happening for sure, but just think of the possibilities?…
 
What happened to Detective Ford:

The sideways timeline opens with Sawyer having The Sex with yet another nubile thing. A briefcase falls open with a bunch of Benjamins falling out. Sawyer! Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems, Cuz! But is he pulling a con? Nope, because as I suspected after the season 6 opener, he’s a cop! And his code word? La Fleur! Man! That is a stupid code word. In a nice touch, James Ford’s partner is Miles, who looks like a natural in Kevlar and a badge.
 
Back at the station, we learn Ford is awfully similar to Sawyer of old: Much like we saw 1977 Sawyer come to enjoy his security job, this Sawyer enjoys wearing a badge, bustin’ heads, and bedding babes, but only when the job calls for it! That is commitment. We also see that Detective Ford still likes to hide things, like his weekend jaunts to “Palm Springs” really being trips to Australia to track down the creep responsible for his parent’s deaths, Anthony Cooper!
 
Aha! Bad stuff still happened. I believe then, that it was in this sideways timeline that Jacob visited a young Jimmy Ford on the steps of a church after his parent’s funeral to dissuade him from being a bad man. Mission sort of accomplished – if only it were that easy. Also, isn’t it interesting that we see both James and Locke lying about travel in this alternate timeline. Also interesting? Isn’t it obvious that in spite of this new timeline, all of these characters are on some sort of collision course anyway? You know Ford is going to have bust Locke’s dad at some point. Just as we know Jack’s likely to operate on Locke.
 
So, this version of Sawyer has plenty of time for sex with beautiful criminals, but not enough time for a relationship. Naturally, Miles feels sorry for him, so he hooks him up with a friend for a blind date. This friend happens to be a gorgeous, intelligent redhead by the name of… DA DA DA! Charlotte! Great, Sawyer has sex with Kate, Juliet, Ana Lucia, and several others, and now he gets to bat at the plate with Charlotte? Wow, such a tortured soul.

Follow the jump for more sexy Sawyer tales…


 
During small talk, Sawyer mentions that he was influenced to become a cop after watching the Steve McQueen classic, Bullitt. Which honestly, is a pretty good reason to become a cop, better than the one he gave when she pierced his hardened outer shell: “It got to a point where I would be a criminal or a cop.” Soooo coool….
 
Well, they hit it off until she rifles through his things looking for a t-shirt (leave it to an archaeologist to dig something up, heh-heh). By the way, on Sawyer’s nightstand are books Island Sawyer’s read in the past, including Watership Down and Lancelot. Lancelot is a great analogy for Sawyer, making Jack the ennobled King Arthur, and wait.. The twelve-year-old in me just started snickering about Sawyer’s still steamy bedside showing a book called Lance-a-lot. He certainly does.
 
I digress. She finds the file that contains the cold case closest to his heart, and he has a big freak out. He refuses to tell Charlotte what the file is all about and roughly kicks her out of his house. What an ass. Which also brings me to:
 
This week’s Stupid Award! This week’s stupid award goes to Sawyer? Why? It’s really simple: When people constantly ask you for the truth, many people, and you really have no reason to lie, other than to look down, jut your jaw, and let your bangs hang low? Well that’s just stupid. Really – there was no earthly reason for him to NOT tell people, let alone freak out so bad. Stupid!
 
Back at the station, Leslie Neilsen and O.J. Simpson are OH WAIT! Wrong show. Though let us not forget our heroes are near Brentwood, O.J.’s old stomping grounds. Back at the station, Liam Pace (hey Liam!) is there, looking for his brother Charlie, incarcerated for drug possession on an Oceanic flight. I will overlook the fact that at least originally, Liam was living in Australia. That was one hell of a quick flight.
 
Miles shows up, pissed that Sawyer’s a liar, and that he’s made things a little awkward with his nice friend Charlotte (go to her, Miles. Let her know you care). Like all our main characters, Sawyer looks at his reflection. Unlike most of our main characters, he smashes his reflection. More stinkin’ thinkin’! Unlike Sayid, who I fear has truly become a lost soul, I think we’re still seeing hope for Sawyer. He understands his inner demons, but he keeps on trying to not be ruled by them. Think though – both Sawyer and Sayid have been manipulated by others to kill. I think Sawyer’s still in okay shape, but he’s walking awfully close to the line, you think?
 
Back home with beer and TV dinner (I guess most of our characters never learned how to cook – Jack orders pizza, Ben microwaves organic turkey, and Sawyer’s Salisbury steak. These guys really need their moms), he has an epiphany watching Little House on the Prairie. Well, WHO DOESN’T!? Michael Landon’s heavenly advice to Laura leads Sawyer to show up at Charlotte’s with the same flower he gave Juliet (hmm) and a 6-pack of beer (not Dharma beer). Thankfully, Charlotte tells Sawyer he blew it and slams the door on his face. Sawyer’s just ‘Lookin’ for love in all the wrong places! Lookin’ for love in too many faces!’
 
The next morning (and this is why we still have hope for Sawyer), he reaches out to Miles and tells him the truth about his mission for justice. But before they can hug it out Ari-style, a car crashes into theirs, and out runs a hooded fugitive! Is it Charlie Pace? Kinda looks like him, only about a foot taller. Of course not! As Sawyer chases the fugitive down and cuffs ‘em, we see it’s Kate.
 
What happened to former Security Agent La Fleur:

Sawyer’s hanging with Jin at Claire’s sweet digs, enjoying tea time. These two guys talk, quickly establishing what they know about Smokey, and Sawyer, still feeling loyal to his pals (particularly Miles and Jin, who were his buddies for three years) promises Jin that they won’t leave the island without Sun.
 
The rest of Smokey’s crew shows up and gets ready to depart. Claire and Kate enjoy cooing at Claire’s dead squirrel skull she’s been taking such good care of in Locke’s crib. No wait! Actually, Kate’s a little creeped out, but Claire puts her in her place by saying, “It’s all I had.”
 
Smokey gathers everyone and before I go further, just let me say, that whether he’s Smokey or Locke, Terry O’Quinn does such an AWESOME job. This entire episode, he plays Smokey just perfect. He gives these speeches to
rally and comfort his troops, and somehow, he’s able to convey the sincerity and malevolence on such a subtle level. I really liked Smokey in this episode. I think after years of getting bossed around by Jacob, he seems to enjoy manipulating these poor human beings.
 
He reassures everyone that some evil smoke monster killed everyone at the temple (the old, “Wasn’t me” defense), and that as traumatic as the evening was, we’re in for some fun times, kids! Let’s go for a hike! Claire also pulls a creepy move by holding Kate’s hand in a fake, public display of togetherness.
 
Sawyer calls out Smokey in front of everyone, and we see a flash of that anger. In private, he gives Sawyer a mission: Head back to polar bear cage island, track down the Ajirra flight, watch for suspicious folk, insinuate yourself as necessary, and come back with a report. Funny side note: I loved that Smokey didn’t catch Sawyer’s less-than sincere apology. Smokey’s so old, he’s older than sarcasm!
 
Anyhow, Smokey levels with Sawyer, with some interesting dialogue. He tells him he had to kill the folks at the temple – it’s kill or be killed, right? Every man for himself. Then, sounding more mortal than ever before, Smokey says simply, “I don’t want to be killed.”
 
On Hydra island, Sawyer walks down memory lane and finds the dress Kate wore for Ben years ago, and starts humming ‘To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before’. He also stumbles on a smelly pile of dead bodies, all dragged into a circle, which I’m assuming was the work of Smokey. But wait, there’s a fishy survivor! A cute girl with glasses named Zoe, who says “um” before answering any of Sawyer’s questions. She also likes to ask about guns, and people with guns. Before Sawyer can do anything, her own gun-wielding guns capture Sawyer.
 
FUN POP CULTURE FACT #1: Sheila Kelley, the actress playing Zoe, is married West Wing’s Toby (Richard Schiff). Not only did she star in a great Portland-based flick with Burt Reynolds (1989’s ‘Breaking In’, which includes some great scenes at the no-longer present Corno’s Market), she also appeared in the movie ‘Nurse Betty’, with… Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell)!
 
FUN POP CULTURE FACT #2: One of Zoe’s gun-wielding cronies is played by Fred Koehler, the cherub-cheeked kid from TV’s ‘Kate & Allie’. Fred appeared in several episodes of HBO’s epic Shakespeare-In-Prison soap opera, ‘Oz’. Who else was on ‘Oz’? Well, Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Michael (Harold Perrineau), of course.
 
These goons take Sawyer to meet their leader, Widmore, in his submarine. Notice that on the walk, we see the goons setting up the anti-smokey fencing. Probably ain’t gonna work anymore. Inside the sub, Sawyer passes a large locked box and asks about it. So to all of you: What’s in it? A bomb? A special gun? A ‘Smokey’ cage? Or could it be a person? Or a particular body? Inquiring minds (oh yeah, reminds me: We still don’t know what the freaking ash is, do we?).
 
Sawyer makes a deal with Widmore to lure Smokey into his trap, in return for safe passage for he and his friends. Sawyer still cares, man!
 
Back at Camp Smokey, Kate gets creeped out by a passive, soul-dead Sayid (in fact, I’m kinda creeped out by him as well), and gets attacked by Claire. Before Claire can kill Kate, Smokey shows up and beats the hell out of Claire. Ah! Being on Team Smokey isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, Jacob can be cryptic, and ask you for incredible sacrifices, but he doesn’t go all Ike Turner on you like Smokey. And he doesn’t humiliate you in front of others to assert power.
 
And also, Jacob doesn’t try and appeal to the worst aspects of your humanity, like Smokey does. This is where these two as metaphor come into play. Jacob does ask a lot, but it’s always in the service of others, and it’s always as a sacrifice for something greater than yourself.
 
Smokey, as seen in his conversation with Kate, wants you to think selfishly. Wants you to take care of yourself, because that is the only thing that matters. Smokey thinks that Altruism isn’t just stupid, it’s wasteful and deadly. Smokey wants you to feel good about being a selfish prick. In short, I think SMOKEY IS REALLY AYN RAND.
 
In my favorite scene, we watch Smokey first rationalize that he had to lie and manipulate Claire in order to save her, only later to tell Kate that now Claire’s too crazy to take care of Aaron. Living a lie and feeling guilt is what drove Kate back to the island, and here’s Smokey telling Kate that living the lie was the BEST thing to do, and now is the ONLY thing to do. Of course, we also see that Smokey’s got some SERIOUS mommy issues going on. Which leads to an incredibly nutty theory espoused by the dear Doc Jensen (to read more about this theory, check out the ‘Bullitt’s’ below.
 
We part on Sawyer telling Kate that he’s successfully conned both Smokey and Widmore into killing each other while they can sneak off the island. Oh Sawyer, don’t you think that Smokey and Widmore are at least a few steps ahead of you? You have a very painful lesson to learn very soon…
 
So, what can I tell you about the next few weeks?

This week, Doc Jensen is at the top of his game, with some awesome insights about this episode, including Sawyer’s repeated line (“Son of a Bitch!”) being central to the episode and the mystery of Smokey’s identity. Doc thinks Officer Sawyer will end up apprehending (or killing) Anthony Cooper at Locke’s wedding. Doc is also convinced there’s some significant hidden meaning in the episode of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ that enthralled Sawyer.

Did you catch that Miles mentions his dad (Dr. Chang) and Charlotte working at “The Museum” together? Doc did, and thinks Chang may put in a pivotal Harry the Explainer appearance, telling us about the space-time continuum. Or some such thing. Doc also thinks that Kate running around in a hoodie was some kind of reference to hoodie-wearing Charlie Pace in the first season, helping then-baddish guy Sawyer swipe all the camps guns.

This is the best, BEST part of Doc Jensen’s column this week: Doc Jensen thinks Smokey is Faraday. I repeat, Doc Jensen thinks SMOKEY IS FARADAY!! Isn’t that crazy! NO! That’s crazy awesome! I’m going to be chewing on that one for awhile. Son of an Eloise Hawking, indeed.

Here’s my little back-pat. I was the only guy I know of who predicted that Sawyer would be a cop. I was WAY wrong, however, in guessing that his life wasn’t going to be as messy. As we see, almost as messy as before. The badge is just another thing to hide behind.

For what it’s worth, I still don’t think the bomb ever went off. It was something else that transported our heroes out of 1977. We may never know what it was, but that bomb hasn’t gone off… Yet.

Next week’s episode is all about Richard, and it’s called ‘Ab Aeterno’, which means ‘From the eternal’ or can also be translated as something beyond time. What cool Alpert stuff will we see? Well, as you can imagine, someone who’s been alive for hundreds of years has probably watched more than a few loved ones die, which would be the really sucky part of immortality. We’ll see some Catholic guilt, lost love, and the original man in black (the great Titus Welliver). Don’t be surprised if we see that Jacob and Alpert weren’t always buddies, and uh, yeah, get ready for some answers. If there were ever a time for Lost to start possibly polarizing some die-hard viewers, this might be the episode that does it.

We’re not done seeing Juliet (yay!), nor are we done seeing Charlotte.

Think Smokey’s done beating up some of his loyal followers? He hasn’t even begun. Expect mass-beatings and general jerkiness to continue in full.

Guess what? Lapidus will finally have something to do! Like, um, I don’t know. M
aybe fly a plane?

As mentioned at the start of this post, two worlds are going to collide, and it’s going to get a little messy. How will someone know they’re speaking to the ‘right’ Jack, or the ‘right’ Hurley?

Big-time Spoiler Alert: I try not get ‘Spoilery’ here, so I’m going to warn you now: if you don’t like spoilers, avoid the internet, because it’s been revealed that several key players may be departing us in a single episode. This, ahem, ‘explosive’ news could really put a ‘damper’ on folks who like to be kept in the dark (I have some of the names, but won’t be posting, or telling).

That ‘secret word I mentioned a couple weeks back? The one that describes the island in a nutshell? The one with an ‘O’ but no ‘A’ or ‘E’? Rumor is that it’s coming this week.

Who still has centric episodes? Jin & Sun, Desmond, Hurley and Smokey, for sure.

Want to know the cryptic names of some of these episodes? Try these on for size: The Package, The Last Recruit, The Candidate, Everybody Loves Hugo, and Happily Ever After are some. A couple others are just too dang spoilery to say.
For you Lost fanatics, you can now pre-order the entire series on Amazon. 38 discs. 38.
 
Thanks for reading and watching

"Lost" in Translation: Don't Talk, Put Your Gun On My Shoulder

Sawyer and the army of the damned

Maybe the key moment this season came during “Dr. Linus,” when island Ben, while clawing through Sawyer’s old tent on the beach, came across a few of his literary leftovers, abandoned in the sand. Together they told the tale of one man’s divided soul: A copy of Chaim Potok’s “The Chosen” (two boys, both brilliant in their own way, both inspired-slash-tormented by their fathers, both torn between fate and self-determinism, etc.) and a porn magazine for dudes who admire ladies with big butts. Ben, who hands positively drip with the blood of the innocents, was scandalized. “What some people will bring on a trip!” he sputtered.

Lately these words speak for “Lost” itself, which has edged away from the taut character studies of earlier seasons to focus almost entirely on the breakneck action side of its personality. What’s going to happen? How will the dual plotlines meld together? Where does the island get its power, what does it mean and where will it end?

All significant questions, to be sure. But unlike “The Sopranos,” which confounded some fans and infuriated others by edging away from an action-based conclusion in favor of a literal depiction of the spiritual black hole it had been tracing through the entire arc of the series (always obvious if you had ben paying attention, or had the patience to look back and think again) “Lost” is steering its astonishingly complex story toward a more traditional destination.

No surprise, perhaps. They’ve been promising it over and over again in every single teaser and in-house ad ABC has generated: THE TIME FOR ANSWERS IS HERE.

So, fine. I’m still fascinated; still caught up in the unraveling mysteries. But when it comes to getting out in front of how the alt-lives in L.A. contrast/compare/extend from the island lives; and when it comes to predicting how Widmore is or isn’t connected to Jacob and/or Smokey, that’s where you (and I) have to turn to the great Lostonian Nick Gorini. (Whose coming wrap-up of this episode, which he thoughtfully previewed for me in an email not 30 minutes ago, contains some real kick-ass revelations).

So when it comes to this “Recon” episode the English majors among us can only ponder Smokey’s seemingly heartfelt narrative about the ongoing damage he suffers at the hands of the “crazy mother” who apparently favored one brother (Jacob, obviously) over him. This brings us back to the Hebrews and the tale of Jacob and Esau…..who remind us again of Potok’s “The Chosen,” and his modern Hebrews, Danny and Reuven. In which book, Danny’s father — the chief rebbe — cut off his son emotionaly in order to teach him the value of kindness.

So much of “Lost” has pivoted from the broken relationships between parents and children – fathers and sons, mostly, but obviously moms play into the scenario, too. The island certainly evokes the original Eden, and the creation and fall of mankind. The island has its magical powers, and its deadly threats. Its inhabitants are capable of stepping past the boundaries of mortality, or else collapsing beneath the weight of their own flawed humanity. Or, on the third hand, riding the inherent humanity they posess towards emotional transcendence.

Deep into the final season we’ve already looped through so many versions of these stories, and explored the outer reaches of so many others, it’s easier to imagine how the action and paranormal aspects of the story will play out than it is to imagine where the emotional tale will take us. It’s safe to assume it won’t descend into Tony Soprano’s existential blackness. Not because the creators’ vision is that much brighter. But because a hit series, like poor old Richard Alpert, suffers its own kind of Jacob’s Touch of Eternal Life: the lights stay on, your mascara never runs, you can never truly off yourself, not ever. Talk about dual existences, talk about a blessing that becomes a curse.

"Lost" – It's all an allusion

Is this gonna be on the test?

By PETER AMES CARLIN and NICK GORINI

So a month into the final season we’re still made to wonder: What is “Lost” really about? Is it a show about philosophy? Is it a vast analogy about the wages and moral toll of imperialism? Or is it all, somehow, about the polar bear?

So many ideas, so many direct quotations, so many books turning up everywhere you look. But a lot of that stuff is pure Maguffin; a graduate school of red herrings.

So we here at PAC.com’s “Lost” central – including our shadowy leader, Guru Dev Nick Gorini, lit the candles and fired up the incense, took a dunk in the hot tub of wisdom and attained clarity. What follows are the REAL moral/intellectual/narrative headwaters of “Lost.”

THEORY THE FIRST: “LOST” IS A METAPHOR FOR RISE AND FALL OF THE BEATLES

John Lennon is the Man in Black: A little bitter, more than a little sardonic, determined to escape the bonds of the utopia he helped create (to say nothing of the wide-eyed fans who reside there), he’s possessed of an explosive temper and, when you least expect it, deep sensitivity. When the MiB told Sawyer that Jacob and the other Island cultists were killing one another over nothing he was really saying: “Imagine there’s no countries/it isn’t hard to do/Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion, too. . . “

Paul McCartney is Jacob: Handsome, charming, a trifle melancholy, deeply in love with his own illusion. Jacob/Paul is more than a little manipulative and never shy about picking a fight. Many people believe he’s dead, though his regular appearances – often looking far younger than you’d expect – argue against it. Convinced that ebony and ivory can live together in perfect harmony, but there sure are a lot of names scratched off his cave ceiling. . .

George Harrison is Sayid: Meditative, eastern, suffered at least one near-fatal attack before actually getting killed. Reincarnation important to both. George didn’t seem to return from the Other Side as quickly as Sayid. . . but something in the way he moves just might remind you of another lover.

Ringo Starr is Hurley
: The perpetual baby brother, mostly adorable and funny, but a surprisingly capable hit-maker. See also: “It Don’t Come Easy,” which Hurley discovered all too clearly when his lottery winnings seemed to spell nothing but doom. Later turns out to be far more intelligent and better-adjusted than anyone expected.

Stu Sutcliffe is Charlie: Artsy, sensitive, troubled, not quite able to stick with the band. Doomed to die young, but given immortality in the name of his legacy and the spiritual impact he had on those who would go on to greatar glory.

Pete Best is Ben: The very foundation of the rock-and-rhythm, the drummer is always a group’s secret leader. Until the group calls for a new drummer. Now Ben is in his own spiritual Liverpool, sentenced to a life of woulda, coulda, shouldas.

Yoko Ono is Kate: Beguiling, not always friendly, perfectly capable, and willing, to kick anyone’s ass at any moment. Just when she seems charming – that’s when you should be afraid. Very afraid.

Linda McCartney is Juliet: Blonde, smart, no evident musical ability, but a natural-born matriarch. Dies tragically young, leaving behind a shattered partner who rebounds quickly into another, extremely ill-considered new partnership.

Brian Epstein is Locke: A man of faith whose reach often exceeded his grasp. And yet his spirit was pure, his belief in his cause unwavering, and his success so astonishing as to be inarguable.  All this despite being shockingly ill-equipped for his role, and more afraid than anyone would guess. Died young under conditions so murky no one can say for sure if he committed suicide, died accidentally or was murdered.

Allen Klein is Charles Widmore: Shadowy, scary, will do anything and kill anyone in order to get what he wants. But even when he wins the battle, he always seems to lose the war.

THEORY THE SECOND: “LOST” IS A METAPHOR FOR THE GW BUSH WAR TEAM: 

After a cataclysmic event, a group of empowered surviviors gathers together to fight back, survive, solve life’s greater mysteries, and tackle the essential question of man’s nature. Was it fate or free will that led us into war? Both groups are/were lost in many ways. Let’s briefly break down some of the key players:

George Bush is Locke: After a life riddled with failure and endless daddy issues, finds himself in a position of great power. A man driven by faith who doesn’t spend much time using logic or thought to make decisions, the power goes to his head. Like Locke, Bush’s reputation is deader than a crab-riddled corpse.

Dick Cheney is Jack: The REAL power broker in the group, almost too coldly analytical, and unwilling to listen to anyone, even when the truth is staring him in the face. Convinced he can fix anything, and that anyone who doesn’t understand what he’s doing or where he’s coming from, he rarely tells anyone in the group what his motivations are. The only difference between Jack and Dick? Jack has a heart.

Saddam Hussein is Ben: Am I telling truth? Am I lying? Am I your ally? Am I your enemy? Sure, I do awful things, but you understand, it’s for good reasons. I may be a tyrant, but I provide you some stability. I sure love all this power. Oh, wait – are you getting sick of this game yet? Sorry, I’ll tell you truth about everything! Wait! Wait! Damn, too late. I’ve lost all my power…

Donald Rumsfeld is Smokey: More than ready to head to war, nearly salivates over it. He just wants to go home, if home means a world where Capitalist-based Christianity reigns in every nation. He’ll do anything to get home. He’s tired of the game of balanced diplomacy. A war needs to happen, and there has to be one winner.

Colin Powell is Jacob: Strong and reserved, a peaceful warrior, if you will. He tries to guide the group towards what is good, but ultimately, he is not in a position to affect choice. He can only show them ‘The Way’. Like Jacob, he can never go outright and just say what he wants. And like Jacob, he ends being symbolically sacrificed (his political career, that is).

Condoleeza Rice is Kate: Strong, smart, sexy and easily influences the men in her group. She isn’t above compromising some of her evident morals for people she loves, she’s torn between bad guys and good guys. Can she/we even tell the difference anymore?
George Tenet is Sayid: Both like to torture people, ALLEGEDLY, and are decidedly good at it. Can they elevate their morality and use their power for good? Doubtful…

John Ashcroft is Jin and Sun: Essentially good, but surrounded by a lot of destructive ideas, and an old-world view that limits personal growth. Resistant to change, but not incapable of it. C’mon, John – Let the Eagle Soar!


Ari Fleischer is Sawyer
: Strong, charming and sharp-tongued, he can speak for the group on many levels, and people really, really like him, even when he says or does some really dumb things.