May 022010
Lostathon Logo

What I’m doing: Racing through Lost in an attempt to catch up before the season finale airs and I get spoiled all to hell.

What this is: These are my thoughts as I watch the episode.

What’s important: In an effort to avoid spoilers, note that I won’t be reading any comments made to these posts until I’ve caught up. Feel free to say whatever you like and discuss among yourselves, just don’t expect a reply from me for the next month or so.

Stating the obvious: There are spoilers in this post for any and all events through to the episode I’m making notes about. If you don’t wish to be spoiled, please stop reading now.


Jump to episode:
3×01: “A Tale of Two Cities” | 3×02: “The Glass Ballerina” | 3×03: “Further Instructions”


Thoughts on Lost 3×01: “A Tale of Two Cities”

– I didn’t like Dickens’ version of this story, I’m not sure I trust Lost to improve on that.

– A new eye. And … who are you? Should I know you? S.Git’s fiance, Jack’s ex-wife? There are too many random blondes in this show for me. But you pick Petula Clark, seriously? Hey wait is that Ethan fixing the plumbing? And there’s “Henry” … Okay so this is obviously the town of South Otherington. Pretty creepycool to see the plane crack apart from below, and with the earthquake coming first it does seem to fall in line with S.Git’s hypothesis that he caused it. “Henry” certainly looks to be the one in charge at this point. And another book, Stephen King this time, but we can’t see the title. Going to guess from “pure religious hokum” with “no metaphor” that he’s talking about The Stand (though I’d disagree with him on those parts, as does my senior year term paper). Well kudos Lost, you left me disgusted but start me interested all over again. You’re like an abusive husband that I just can’t quit.

– Jack. Stalking his ex? Can’t tell if it’s the same woman from the opening or not.

– Kate with a bandaid. Blood sample?

– Dharma stamp on the tanks around Sawyer’s cage. Can’t tell what it is though. Mike thinks maybe a hydra or gorgon?

– So far we’re seeing that the three captives are being kept in very dissimilar places. But there’s someone in the cage across from Sawyer. Can’t recognize who, if I’m supposed to know. Guessing it’s a plant though, an Other put there to gain his confidence maybe.

– Sawyer’s cage … dude this is a giant Skinner box. How … insulting really. Hm, I hear chickens.

– Okay this is the same woman from before. “Juliet” she says, and he doesn’t seem to recognize her, so no it shouldn’t be his wife then.

– “Wear this”. Well that’s just creepy.

– “He’s waiting”? Who’s waiting? Oh “Henry”. Please do not tell me that he’s into her and wants to make her his sweetie or something like that because so done and I’ll just want to vomit on you. Kate’s like the Storm of Lost.

– “I’m gonna have to ask you to put those [handcuffs] on.” “And if I don’t?” “Then you don’t get any coffee.” So she does. Wow Kate really loves coffee.

– “The next two weeks are going to be very unpleasant.” That’s quite chilling and eerie.

– Jack equals obsessive.

– Oh please tell me his dad didn’t do his wife.

– “Let it go, Jack,” says his dad through the box and okay that’s creepy.

– “I didn’t make it, I just put the toothpicks in.” Heh.

– Yeah YOU might not hurt him, but …

– A thought. Maybe each of these three has been assigned their own “Other” for interrogation purposes perhaps. They’re each in a very different prison of sorts, each very specific. Sawyer in a cage like an animal, Kate very civilized but with handcuffs (that she herself had to put on), and Jack in a cell with an invisible wall that he can see out of but can’t leave.

– I don’t trust that this guy in the cage isn’t an Other at all. Testing something with Sawyer surely. Sawyer’s all about conditioning I’m going to guess.

– Wow Jack you’re being a major asshole. And I thought your dad was a major asshole.

– So .. underwater? And “Henry” just left the woman to drown. But .. hm. With her and Sawyer’s fellow caged monkey, it could create a very “us versus them” bond. Given how quickly Ethan and Goodwin leapt into their roles without hesitation, I’ve no reason to believe that the other Others wouldn’t do the same. I was pretty sure that Sawyer’s “friend” was unquestioningly loyal to The Others; I’m fairly confident that if Juliet shows a wavering that too will be fake, an effort to get Jack to trust them.

– Roffle at Sawyer’s delight and joy at the triumphant music as he successfully gets the sequence right.

– Kate’s moving in it seems. Again though very different treatments, very specifically done. I don’t doubt it’s a plan.

– “Hey! You got yourself a fish biscuit!” That’s even more funny when you consider that the Gordon’s fisherman said it.

– An aquarium? And the Gordon’s fisherman mentioned bears, so a zoo also yeah?

– It is indeed “The Hydra”, well done Mike.

– Juliet seems to have just admitted that The Others are “left overs” from the Dharma Initiative. We’ll see how much of this is true, as again, this show hasn’t exactly convinced me to take anything it tells me as gospel.

– Well that’s a hell of a dossier she has on Jack. Very interesting. Not for the first time I half have to wonder if they did not in fact die in the plane crash and they’re in limbo right now waiting to see where they end up.

– “Thank you” who? Ben? Didn’t we have a Ben in the book club at the beginning that was also Ben but not this Ben? <goes back to beginning> Okay no, that was Adam apparently, but he did mention Ben.

Overall thoughts
This was a much better opener than the previous season, that’s for certain. The Others continue to be a source of great fascination.

There’s something interesting I’ve noticed about Lost as I continue through it: the show at its core is so untrustworthy that it has an effect – however minor – on my overall enjoyment. I guess it would be better summed up by saying that the show is making me cynical, even by my own incredibly high cynical standards. “Oh this looks cool” is immediately followed by “But it’s probably not.” “I think this might be going on” has the caveat “But I’m probably wrong.” It probably wouldn’t matter so much if I were just along for the ride, but like I said in a previous post, part of the enjoyment I have with the show is in trying to figure it out. I’d like to be a little more active than passive, which I do think is what the writers want from the audience – if we were just meant to be along for the ride, to be passengers on the plane, then they wouldn’t show us things that the other Lostaways have no way of knowing … such as, for example, the lovely town of South Otherington. They want us working toward solutions, but I can’t help but feel a little like the writers are cheating. Misdirection is one thing, but they’ve fostered such a relationship of deception with us at this point that you almost don’t want to play along. I’m not there yet, don’t get me wrong. I doubt that I ever truly could be. But I recognized the first tickles of “Oh why bother to think around this” with this episode. I’m not sure if there’s a solution to that. The writers’ primary goal is to keep you tuning in and if we figure it all out way too soon then that’s not going to happen. So I slog on. But maybe I’m being a little unfair. Maybe I have in fact figured stuff out I just won’t know about it until much later. Or maybe I’m not as clever as I think I am and they’re shooting straight and giving me all the clues I need and I’m just impatient and cranky and need a lolly. This is also very possible.

On the other side of the spectrum with the show we have instances where it can be quite obvious (proving that the line they walk is very narrow indeed, I grant you), and I’m glad they didn’t drag out Juliet’s loyalty. They introduced her at the beginning of the ep and by the end felt pretty secure that she’s not going to be on the Lostaway’s side. I appreciated not giving us Yet Another Mystery That Didn’t Much Feel Like A Mystery and not dragging it out for seven episodes.

This one was, of course, a Jackcentric episode (have all the first eps of the season been Jackcentric?) and further showed just what a complete asshole he can be. I can’t believe I was rooting for Jack’s dad. I wonder if Jack has yet put two and two together that he very likely drove his father on the final bender that killed him (or, at the least, kicked it off). Still, I thought the show did a great job of blending the flashback and the main story, successfully walking that line between complete irrelevance and lobbing anvils at us.


Thoughts on Lost 3×02: “The Glass Ballerina”

– Now we flash to the Sun of now and on the island she sees the maid, angry and seeking revenge for her unjust firing.

– “I told Jack I would start a fire. I’m not abandoning him.” And the whole “Tell me where my friends are!” from the “Previously” and it’s like, when did this group suddenly become all tight knit and giving a shit about each other?

– Jin, you have some issues still I see. :\

– Wall o’ monitors behind Ben in the aquarium. I see Jack all broken and pathetic in his aquarium room. Not sure what else I’m seeing though.

– “Am I interrupting something?” “Would it matter if you were?” Wow, that was weirdly bitchy. All is not peaches and cream with The Others it seems.

– “You shouldn’t have disagreed with me period.” What the hell Jin? Did you take a jerk pill between seasons?

– And Sun wakes up with Hotel Guy. :( My little Lost OTP just came crashing around my ears and I am sad. I am very sad.

– Now why would The Others, with their happy little town, need rocks dug up? Is it just busy work?

– So maybe other-guy-in-cage Carl isn’t in fact one of The Others any more than Alex is?

– Jin knows English better than Sun thinks. I recall saying something similar earlier. It’s somewhat gratifying to know they worked that in.

– Well they did say they wanted the boat and we know they’re adept at ocean assault …

– “Do you know why I’m here?” Is Hotel Guy going to confess to Jin about Sun? Looks like no but will he figure it out somehow anyway? Oh snap looks like someone finished the job for Jin. Pearls in hand … couldn’t have been Sun..? Or suicide perhaps?

– Oh shit Sun Sun you better Run Run. But at least she killed(?) the irritating woman. Unfortunately now she may have crossed from “good” to “bad” in The Others’ eyes and that could be bad for everyone.

– Kate why do you look so shocked that Sawyer’s name isn’t Sawyer? You figured that out for yourself ages ago. And Locke’s been calling him James for quite a while now too.

– So what exactly has made Jack so despondent? Because his wife is actually happy without him?

– Making note: Benjamin Linus and he’s lived on this island all his life.

– What’s on the tv? Shut up Jack so I can find out. Wait you knew that the Red Sox winning was the ONE THING he wouldn’t believe so you had a VCR all queued up to show that one moment? This may be the most ridiculous thing we’ve seen on this whole island yet.

Overall thoughts
So. Sun and Jin. Yeah.

I’m pretty bummed honestly. I’ve been rooting for Sun this whole time and I’ve been enjoying watching her find her own strength. Of all the characters we’d seen in the show I thought she’d grown the most. It felt like a natural evolution too, like being in this place had allowed her the space to become who she always was. Only now I’m not too sure who she was to start with.

The first flashback has me a little puzzled, the one where Little Sun breaks the glass ballerina of the title and blames the maid. This is an important moment, but I admit to not being entirely certain what we’re supposed to take away from it. The idea that Sun has had no problem lying at the expense of others her whole life? We’ve certainly seen her being deceptive and keeping secrets before – her whole speaking English thing being a primary example. But the things she’d done up to this episode made sense. They were done out of fear or belief she was doing the right thing. But the ballerina … well you could argue fear, but the detached way she blamed the maid, the fact that her father explained the consequences the maid would face and then gave her another chance to tell the truth … That scene came across as calculated.

Then we have Sun sleeping with Hotel Guy, repeatedly. Again, this is a calculated deception, and it casts a considerable shadow on her lying to Jin about the English and certainly about the pregnancy.

So what we’ve done with the character, at least to my (admittedly sad and wounded) eyes, is take a character who’s had to dig deep and find her inner strength to do what she thinks is right, to a character who has only ever been out for her own personal preservation this whole time. Or, essentially like just about everyone else on this island.

I mean, just think about her decision to leave Jin to go to America. They spent so much time in S1 convincing us that this was a hard decision for her, that this was a dangerous decision for her. It was a cornerstone of the character. But looking back on that now, with the information and impressions that this episode brought, and it makes the choice look like it should’ve carried all the emotional weight of a trip to the store.

I freely admit it could be a more emotional response talking here. I don’t do well with characters that cheat on their partners. But for the moment, Sun has dropped from the top of my favourites to resting comfortably at the bottom.

I mean, she’s not Kate or anything? But they could wave to each other.

That makes me sad.


Thoughts on Lost 3×03: “Further Instructions”

– And now, I presume, we get to find out what happened after the big glowy fireworks. And unless Locke’s seeing things, the Scottish Git is still wandering around alive somehow and Locke can still walk.

– Mike is hypothesizing that somehow Eko is in Locke. Me, I just don’t know what the heck happened.

– Maybe you should conserve paper Locke, you have a fairly limited supply.

– Wow Charlie you maybe don’t have a whole lot of ground for being so damned bitter as you were, you know, hoarding drugs and all. Still, makes you wonder why he’d pick Charlie to stand guard.

– Locke’s made the same paste he used on Boone I’m guessing. Oh and speaking of Boone (pardon the pun).

– Fascinating dream sequence of Locke’s. Is the one in need of saving himself? Or Eko perhaps then. Yes seems so.

– Dragged. By the polar bear. Oh roffle my copter.

– So Locke’s in a commune now? He looks a bit more grey and grizzled, so this is after his breakup with Helen?

– Mike thinks the guy in the plaid shirt in the commune might be the Gordon’s fisherman. He’s a lot better at faces than I am so I won’t dismiss the possibility.

– The shirt Eddie the Hitchhiker is wearing is Geronimo Jackson – one of the albums that was in the hatch.

– The hatch imploded? Quite the new mystery of how you guys aren’t still inside then isn’t it?

– Mystery solved! Hurley is the polar bear! Seriously though how/why did the bear just decide to stop chasing them.

– Calling the polar bear just bear … One of The Others mentioned that “the bears” figured out the cages in a few hours. So maybe that’s where the bears and horses came from? The zoo on the island? (Of course why there’s a zoo on the island is a whole ‘nother thing.) Is the Dharma-stamped shark from the aquarium?

– So the hatch took Locke’s voice and S.Git’s clothes then?

– A toy dumpster truck in the cave? That’s odd.

– Is that the skeleton of a baby in a Dharma blanket? Creeee-py.

– “A failsafe key? That seems kinda convenient.” Hurley: Ever the mouthpiece of the audience.

– “Locke said so in his speech”? So can Desmond see the future now?

– So is Locke gonna kill the kid then? Having trouble seeing that. I’m going to guess he’s going to just scare him off. Not that it entirely went down that way, but so far so good on the “not shooting him” part.

– The way Eko’s talking, I suspect he’s about to bite it and that is sad.

– And there’s Locke’s speech, though no, not really all that great Charlie. Still, have we added future-seeing to our list of wtf.

Overall thoughts
I don’t have much to say on this one. I keep trying to ground what’s going on with the island in reality. I seem to recall reading something, way back when S1 was first airing and I was in pretty deep, that everything that happened had a real, rational explanation. But then we get crazy accurate visions and people seeing the future and I dunno. I mean, that stuff is very real to some people, so I guess the entire premise could be shot if I don’t know what “real” and “rational” mean to JJ Abrams. I’m finding it difficult to not just sit back and be passive on this one. I’ll wait and see what else they show.

As to Locke’s flashback … it’s a little disheartening the way the show is trying so hard to remind us that pre-island Locke was a bit of a loser. You’d think we’d get that by now but they have to keep showing us, so I can only assume they’re building to something. Locke’s personal journey is one of the few I’m still invested in when it comes to these characters – we’ve already discussed Sun, and Jin seems to be taking several inexplicable steps backward now as well. Hurley’s been reduced to “the fat guy”, Claire can’t seem to do much of anything but coo over Aaron and it looks like they’ve just killed Eko. That leaves Charlie and Locke and, interestingly enough, the Scottish Git, who’s gone from being someone introduced and irritating me all in the same moment to someone I don’t hate seeing.

I’ve gone a bit off topic there. Locke’s journey continues to intrigue me, and my sympathy for him grows. His entire disposition is so … gentle, really. Life’s just shit on him all the way through, but he still manages a smile and he still reaches out to people. I don’t know what’s ahead for our Lostways, but of all of them I hope Locke finally gets his happy ending.

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