Sunday, January 31, 2010

Like sands through the hourglass... are the days of our LOST.

As the countdown to the Season 6 premiere shifts from months to weeks to days and now to mere hours, I want to take a moment away from theories and analysis, and let's just all sit back and reflect on five years of television that so many of us have devoted far more than 103 hours to. I read an interesting article a couple weeks ago explaining why LOST will go down as the greatest show of its decade (the last one, not the one we started 31 days ago). In an era that saw TV get dumbed down to the lowest common denominator of society, we were also blessed with what is arguably the smartest show ever.

Like many of you, I spent the past summer in a full rewatch of the first five seasons so I could absolutely be caught up to speed for Tuesday's premiere. It's astonishing how well this show has done for itself considering its complicated storyline but it was clear: From the moment Jack opened his eyes in the jungle, all roads have led to this moment right here. There was a certain element of making it up as they went along (see Nikki and Paolo), but the fundamental structure of the show has stayed intact. The rewatch this summer gave me full confidence that the creators of the show know exactly what they're doing in wrapping this up.

Not only is LOST the smartest show on network television right now, it's also probably the last of its kind. The pilot episode for LOST was one of the most expensive pilots ever produced, and it's hard to see the networks lining up to try to replicate what ABC has done for the last 5 years. Not when a cheap comedy about a dysfunctional family can be made for a dollar and get a good 3-year run before being retired to Nick-at-Nite. And even if the networks try, the bar has been set so high by LOST that a new show's story would have to be absolutely remarkable. Just look at the fate of FlashForward to see that you can't just decide to come up with a serialized drama while on the can. Instead, TV drama will continue to be made up of CSI: Domestic Disturbance and any other cookie-cutter show where resolution comes in 60 minutes. Sadly, it's hard to envision another LOST airing on network television ever again. The amount of investment that needs to be made isn't worth the high risk of the show failing.

So if Season 6 of LOST is a roller coaster, the appreciate the moment we're at now: enjoying the view before 4 months of twists and turns that will probably leave us trying to hold in our lunch.

I'm interested in everyone's opinion on one more thing: What do you need from Season 6 to make you happy with the show? Everyone knows that this show will ultimately be judged for its finale, much like how a lackluster Season 3 is praised because of that one iconic line from its finale (We have to go back!). So what is it that you HAVE to see in order to be satisfied?

For me, I'm not one of those people that has to have ALL the answers. Obviously I'll be armed with a pitchfork, probably leading the riot, if we don't learn what the Monster is, or what Jacob's significance is, etc. But will the show be a failure in my book if we never learn why Libby was in the mental hospital? No, in fact there's a certain value towards some things remaining ambiguos. I guess the one mystery that I'd like to see answered that I don't believe will is what's so special about Walt. That was really such a pivotal theme to Season 2 that seems to have been abandoned. But I digress. I really am much more of a storyline kind of guy. Season 6 will be so much more about resolution to me and seeing everyone get to where they're supposed to be. Yes finding out who Jacob is is important, but I want to know more about his death and what comes of it. So what is it that you want to see out of Season 6?

- The Arrow

Friday, January 29, 2010

Genesis 25:19

So, after reading everyone's posts and reading the comments I wanted to throw some ideas about the island big shots around for discussion. Jacob, the Man In Black (who I've been calling Esau because it's easier and Johnny Cash is the real Man in Black), and the Smoke Monster.
Now, the big reveal at the end of Season 5 was that Locke was actually Esau in a Locke skin suit and that Locke is dead. And, using Locke to manipulate Ben Esau had found his "loophole" to kill Jacob. This means one HUGE thing to me...

Every time anyone has seen someone deceased on the island, it was Esau. Every time we've seen Christian it was Esau. When Kate saw the horse it was Esau. When Hurley saw Dave, when Hurley saw Charlie, when Hurley saw Anna Lucia, when Echo saw Yemi. It was Esau every time. He's been manipulating the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 since the very first episode.

The Smoke Monster seems to fill a completely different purpose to me. It serves as some sort of guardian of the "others" and judge/jury/executioner for the island's inhabitants.

Guardian, because the leader of the "others" is able to summon it for protection, it's their "security system." Then, the hieroglyph that I posted at the top of this post seems to suggest that it has some connection to the original, ancient, inhabitants of the island. In contrast, Esau doesn't seem to have any connection to anyone other than Jacob. When they are looking out at the Black Rock Esau is disgusted that Jacob is bringing other inhabitants to the Island and he sure doesn't seem like he would want to protect them in any capacity.

Judge/Jury/Executioner because of it's interactions with Eko, when, after he refused to confess his sins, it offed him. Also, because of Ben's journey to be "judged."

So, these two conclusions (1. Esau is all the dead people 2. Esau and the Smoke Monster are two completely different entities) make the scene where Ben is being "judged" really interesting. Because, in the same scene we get to see that Ben has been judged as worthy. The Monster seems to conclude that Ben had always served the Island to the best of his abilities and after he confesses to being the cause of Alex's death, he deserves to live to fight another day. THEN, we see how manipulative Esau is when he takes the form of Alex and tells him to do whatever Locke (himself) tells him to do. Which eventually leads to Ben stabbing Jacob.

These are my thoughts on the matter... Swan?

P.S. On a completely unrelated note. Our blog needs some style/some panache/some sparkle no? If there is anyone out there who has skills and wants to help us with that let us know! Right now it just looks like our words are being judged by the Smoke Monster all the time. That's a lot of pressure!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dear Hydra, Swan and Arrow,

It times like these that I wish I had saved all of those post-Season 5 finale discussions on AIM, forums and blogs. Truth be told, I halfway mentally checked out last season for one reason and one reason only: time travel. They introduced time travel. They had alluded to it in previous seasons, but it was explored full force in Season Five and I have never been able to wrap my mind around anything involving the tampering with space and time. It’s not that I don’t try, it’s just that I start asking too many questions and it gets so jumbled and warped and mind-numbing towards the end that I have to force myself to stop. Hurley and Miles explaining it didn’t do a lick of good either. It wasn’t until the finale that I managed to start really thinking about the show again. Granted, the lack of Desmond and the death of Daniel made it a little harder to love the season, the writers delivered in the end (as they always do). Mostly.

Since there are 8 million questions that could be mulled over concerning the finale, and the series as a whole, I am just going to ramble about a few of my own ruminations and see where that gets us.

The Incident:

Alright. So The Incident is clearly what sprang everything into motion. It’s why the button came into play, which is why the plane crashed. It’s why the Statue is gone (more on that later). It’s why a lot happened. I think I can speak for a lot (if not most) of us in saying that there was panic in all of our hearts when that bomb went off--even in knowing that there was one more season--that everything that had ever happened on the show had now never happened. The voice of Reason broke through the panic, however, and told me that that would be ridiculous. Still possible, as anything is on Lost, but ridiculous nonetheless. Now I have decided that obviously the ones who didn’t plummet to their doom and become suicide bombers (Oh, Juliet...) are back in the future (er, 2007) and are about to witness some shit go down with the Smoke Monster/Black Shirt Guy. To put it simply. I mean, I don’t know where/when they will end up or anything, but I know it makes more sense than everything in the last five seasons being erased. That’s my bet, anyway. This isn’t the Dallas finale, folks. You can’t dream it all away.

The Statue:

So, we finally got to see The Statue in its prime. Pretty badass, I must say. Keeping with the theme of the hieroglyphics that have been scattered about the island, I am sure it was not lost on a lot of viewers that the statue bore a striking resemblance to the Egyptian goddess Taweret. Half of it at least. It would be fitting, since Taweret was the goddess of childbirth and fertility. And since The Incident is likely the culprit in its destruction, it would explain why successful baby-making/childbirth was once doable on the island and now is not really working out. However, the Statue also looks eerily similar to the god Sobek, perhaps moreso than Taweret. Sobek was a water god, particularly when it came to the warding off of crocodiles (hence the crocodile head he has). He was also a god of fertility, but more in the area of botanic life than human life. If you take aspects of both gods, the two combined make up the enigmatic Statue, down to the four toes. Sobek was sometimes considered, and even pictured or sculpted, as a companion to the goddess Taweret, so this could be the reason behind why the two have been merged. Side Note: I once theorized briefly--and I doubt it was an original thought—that the island was Atlantis. But Atlantis wasn’t even remotely Egyptian, so that went out the window.

The Love Triangle Turned Quadrangle Turned Triangle, Again:

I am so sick of Jack, Kate and Sawyer being in love and then not being in love. I never anticipated, nor even fantasized, about a relationship between Sawyer and Juliet blooming, but when it did I was surprisingly ecstatic. Sawyer grew into this decent, heroic human being (hooray for character growth!) and Juliet is now a character I will deeply miss (if she died...). My only closure is watching Elizabeth Mitchell on “V” and pretending that Juliet was simply catapulted to the future, became an FBI agent and is now fighting aliens. I was at work when I watched the finale, so my outrage at her death had to be bottled up inside. I was talking with Arrow online, along with our friend Eric, so my anger and sadness was basically expressed in exclamation points, all caps and curse words. Anyway, so now it’s back to that damn love triangle they have been milking for way too long. At first I liked the idea of Jack and Kate. Then when Sawyer and Kate hooked up I thought, “That makes sense.” But then Jack flashed those puppy dog eyes and I wanted Kate to ditch Sawyer. Then Kate started annoying the crap out of me and I just started waiting for them to kill her off. I mean, Evangeline Lilly is on my “Top Ten Girl Crushes of Hollywood” list and all, but I want to slap Kate in every other scene. Sawyer has grown. Kate has remained the same, pretty much. Jack has deteriorated into mania, unfortunately. I miss Season One Jack. I know he’ll rise like a phoenix in the end, but right now he and Kate deserve each other. I hope they don’t even attempt to pursue anything between Sawyer and Kate in this final season. I don’t think Sawyer can bring himself to love someone else again for quite some time. Him and Freckles were “together”, like, two months; him and Perma-Smirk were together three years, built a life together. He was genuinely happy. He has a lot of mourning ahead of him, not to mention I am hoping for some kind of closure concerning him and Clementine. That reunion will be by way of Kate, however, so . . . ugh. I suppose secretly I have always been rooting for Kate and Jack, but I am kind of just rooting for Sawyer now, and for Jack to stop being a crazy person. I can confidently say that, as things are, I would not shed one iota of a tear if Kate just so happens to not live through the season. Is that harsh?

The Questions:

Pfft. So many. To add a few obvious questions onto the lists of Hydra, Swan and Arrow:
1. Is Locke really dead? I can't believe we are back to wondering this again.
2. Who/what is Jacob exactly, and is he really dead?
3. Who/what is the Smoke Monster/Black Shirt Guy? They are the same to me. Just a theory.
4. What’s with all the Egyptian stuff? But then Richard is all speaking Latin?
5. What, for the love of God, is the significance and origin of The Numbers? That question always bares repeating.
6. Why is Hurley a Mystic?
7. Will I get to see Desmond more this season?
8. Why were the passengers of Oceanic flight 815 chosen to crash? I know The Incident factors into this, but so does time travel and I can’t think about that right now. Which leads me to...
9. Why did Jacob touch our key players prior ?

I’ve gotta get out of here. See you next week, if I survive the premiere.

Lostfully yours,

Juliet is da bomb

Alright, so obviously so much of the focus of the Season 5 finale of LOST and the early moments of Season 6 is on Juliet using her last ounce of strength to detonate the hydrogen bomb with a rock, after it failed to go off after a fall of probably 100 feet. Or something.

But am I the only one that's WAY more interested in the other storyline that was presented in that finale? If you perceive the world as LOST as a giant chess board then what happened in 1977 was a battle between pawns, whereas what happened in 2007 was the start of the ultimate showdown that the whole show has been structured around since Day 1.

I'm almost afraid to even speculate what all we're in store for with this storyline. Jacob's obviously pretty damn important and so is Fake Locke. But more mysterious to me is who is this Ilana and Bram and that team? There's obviously some connection to Jacob, and I think that once we sort out the whole mess from 1977, that this story will become the focus of the end of the series. Along with this story, hopefully come answers about the Island, Jacob, the Monster, and why the hell we've been committed to this thing for six years.

Now on to 1977, where Juliet may or may not have hit the reset button in the middle of our game (typical woman). The big question is: Did it work? Now I understand that with most of the Season 1 cast signing on to do episodes this spring that it's probably going to be presented as though it did, there's two reasons in my mind where Jack's plan isn't going to play out like he hopes.

#1 - Everything that they did in 1977 CAUSED things that we knew to happen, rather than affected them. Basically my school of thought is everything that Miles says whenever explaining time travel to Hurley and the gang. There was ONE timeline, and what happened always happened that way, and I think Season 5 was littered with examples of it:

When Amy goes into labor, there's complications in the childbirth. Juliet steps in and helps deliver the child. Without Juliet's intervention, would there have ever been an Ethan?

When things start to go to hell at the Swan station, Pierre Chang's arm is trapped by a flying piece of debris (explaining why he had a prosthetic arm during the Swan orientation film). But he's freed by Miles. Without Miles' intervention, would Dr. Chang have survived the incident?

Daniel Faraday initiates the evacuation of the island, allowing for a young Miles and a young Charlotte to escape unharmed. Without his intervention, would the two of them have been able to survive the incident and go on to live the lives that they do?

And of course you have Sayid shooting Ben. But more importantly you had Kate and Sawyer saving Ben by taking him to the Others. These two actions led Ben to becoming one of the Others for the rest of his life. Without this intervention, Ben might have just grown up to become a heavily disgruntled employee of the Dharma Initiative.

All of Season 5 sets up the idea that the survivors had ALWAYS been around in the '70s and that their actions caused the events that they had experienced to unfold. Plus there's a very fitting circularity to a story where the survivors actually caused their own plane to crash, setting themselves up in a tragic loop of causing their own fate.

The #2 reason why I think they can't prevent the plane from crashing may sound kind of silly, but here's my idea: If the plane lands safely in Los Angeles, then that means the survivors never would be able to prevent themselves from crashing. If they land in L.A., there is no travelling back in time to prevent the crash from happening, which means that they would crash anyways and MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED ON THE SCREEN.

- The Arrow

I Miss Arnst.

Unlike you, Hydra, I have not actually seen the final episode of Season Five since it aired in 2009, so while my memory is a little fuzzy, your entry definitely was good refresher.

One thing it definitely sent rushing back was your comment that "Every man's motivation in this show is to get the girl." I remember making a very similar statement while watching this episode last year. That episode is a total clusterfuck of two many "leaders" making decisions based on their emotions and personal gain. "Oh no, guys, it's cool. I might blow us up or completely screw up our time line or erase our place in history, but at least I might get to kiss Kate again. Priorities, man."

And yes, Jack is an asshole. The thing about Jack being an asshole that gets me is that I really, really wanted him not to be an asshole. I held out for him so long, telling myself he was just going through a hard time, a momentary lack of judgement, dealing with rough emotions - but five seasons later and we find out he's actually just an asshole. An asshole who wants to blow up an island.

Man, that is the worst type of asshole.

This summer I watched some footage of the Lost event at ComicCon, and aside from being incredibly hilarious, it was also pretty informative. Cuse and Lindelof answered a lot of questions, including the one that's at the forefront of every Lostie's mind: "Are you going to answer everything?"

They replied with a very infuriatingly vague answer (could we expect any different?) saying they will "answer all the questions that matter", but many intricacies may be left hanging, such as plot lines from characters who met their unfortunate end before the summation of the show. So, we're probably not going to find out if Boone and Shannon were ever going to get it on, step-sibling style. Dang it.

That being said, I'm going to go all smoke monster on someone if some things don't get answered, so here is my list:

Current unanswered questions I need answers to like Saywer needs the sequel to "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret".

1. Why doesn't Richard Alpert get any older?
2. Where the HECK has Claire been? (Hydra that picture is awesome)
3. What was Dharma doing with polar bears in the first place? Better yet, where did they get their funding if everything was in secret?
4. Four-toed statue. What. Same goes with the smoke monster.
5. What was the point of Libby's intricate stalking of Hurley just to turn around and DIE suddenly?
6. Why do some people people have "special powers"? (i.e. Desmond seeing Charlie's death(s), Miles talking to the dead, etc.)
7. If Jacob selected people previously (by going and touching them), why did the plane crash from Desmond not hitting the button in the hatch? Just how interconnected are we talking here?
8. Who the crap is watching Sun's daughter?
9. Why do female characters tend to die on the show shortly after receiving any action? It's like the island rejects any sort of physical involvement and/or sexy times. Anna Lucia, Libby, Shannon… you can't ignore the facts. You may or may not be able to lump Juliet in that group soon as well.

Also at ComicCon, Lindelof promised we'd see some characters we hadn't seen in awhile. I don't know about you, but I have my fingers crossed for Arnst.

Okay, bottom line here. Lost starts next week, and this is where we stand.

Juliet detonated a bomb, and we have no idea what that means for the characters on the show, where in time they will be, what has been erased and rewritten, the fate of the universe and everything surrounding it, and whether or not Jack is going to have another hideous beard in the first episode of next season.

In a Jesus-like moment, a returned-from-the-dead Locke orders the death of Jacob at Ben's hand. What. Also, we were introduced to a "Man in Black". Is anyone else disappointed this character wasn't played by Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones?

I am counting the days until February 2nd.

Until next week,

The Swan

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Previously On Lost...

Remember that time that Hubert Humphrey moved his Inauguration back a week so that the country could keep it's eye on the season premier of Flipper? Or, how about when George Washington called a recess in the Second Continental Congress so they could go check out Mozart's 5th violin concerto? Yeah, those things never happened, but when the State of the Union Address was scheduled for February 2nd the White House had to reassess their decision making.
"I don't foresee a scenario in which the millions of people who hope to see a conclusion to 'Lost' are pre-empted by the president" - The White House Press Secretary
That is how great this show is. It practically qualifies as domestic policy.

I just got back from watching the two hour season finale of season 5 at a local theater and these are the things I wrote down in my notepad.
-"What's done is done."
-"only ends once... anything before is just progress."
- I love Sawyer and Juliet
- Jack is an asshole but, I trust Daniel.
- Jacob to Sun and Jin, "Your love is a very special thing."
- "They're coming."

Every man's motivation in this show is to get the girl. Jack wants to change the future/past because he messed everything up with Kate. Sawyer goes along with the nuke the island plan because Juliet tells him to (she turns into a huge maze of neuroses this episode... "I love you so I want to never have met you.") Daniel just wants Charlotte back. All of this would bother me if, you know, it wasn't that far from reality.

Did you see the screenshot from the trailer of Clair?
That gets me super exited. Where has she been? WHERE HAS SHE BEEN?

Theory that can't be true:
How ballsy would it be if the show started out with the plane landing at LAX (which is the title of the first episode) and the whole season is just this melodrama about people with terrible lives living in LA. Like, the sixth season never even references any of the previous five seasons. Oh man, Lindelof and Cuse would be killed by light saber wielding nerds within a week.

So, this was kind of sprawling. But, that's really the only way my thoughts come out about this show. I'm really so excited to be writing to all of you over the next sixteen final episodes. And don't worry guys, "Everything will be fine when Jack changes the future. Or the past. One of those."