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The Dark Tower Volume III: The Wastelands by Stephen King (1991) 512 p.

crooked scan ahoy

I’m largely reading the Dark Tower series because of Lost. Well, I’ve been meaning to read it for a while, but I’ve been told that the writers of Lost draw a lot of direct influence from the Dark Tower series, especially for the upcoming final season. So I’m trying to push through all seven books before the next premiere in February.

I’m already seeing these influences, the most obvious of which is time travel. In the first book, The Gunslinger, Roland comes across a boy named Jake who died in our world and awoke in Roland’s. Roland later lets him die again, sacrificing him to pursue his own quest. In the second book, The Drawing of the Three, Roland finds himself travelling into our world in the minds of three separate New Yorkers in various different time periods. The third of these is Jake’s murderer, and Roland kills him – before the murder takes place.

The first half of the novel deals with the results of the subsequent time paradox, as both Jake and Roland begin to go insane with two separate memories of their past/future/whatever duking it out in their brains. This problem is eventually solved with the drawing of Jake into Roland’s world, and the fortified party continues its quest for the Dark Tower.

The best part of The Wastelands is that it shows us more of Roland’s fascinating world, a unique and original creation that is part fantasy, part science fiction, part Western and part post-apocalyptic, and – because this is Stephen King – tinged with an American vibe that somehow manages to feel appropriate. While an excellent book, The Drawing of the Three was lacking in that regard because the scenes in Roland’s world took place entirely along the same stretch of dull, desolate beach. The Wastelands blows that effort right out of the water, as within the first fifty pages the party enters a pine forest and is attacked by a huge and ancient bear, which then turns out to be a nuclear-powered cyborg, one of many relics left behind by the long-forgotten Great Old Ones. That sounds silly, but it’s actually brilliant, and a thousand times better than Tolkien-riffed fantasy about elves and orcs.

Unfortunately, a very large chunk of the book is devoted to resolving the Jake-Roland time paradox, which means we are rudely thrust back into New York for 150 pages. This was a very unwelcome interruption, especially when I thought we were finally done with our own world and were about to go exploring in Roland’s. It also contains a pretty sloppy mistake for a series that so heavily involves time travel: this segment involves Henry Dean, Eddie’s older brother, and takes place when he is eighteen, shortly before he “shipped out to Vietnam.” It also takes places in 1977. Spot the error.

A second comparison I’m going to draw to Lost is the regular themes of fate and destiny, and an unwillingness to dole out answers. Lost was quite unwilling to hand out answers to anything in its early seasons, but I watched regardless, because it was a fascinating show and I had faith things would be explained eventually. The most frustrating thing was not the writers’ unwillingness to explain – despite complaints from unimaginative people who give up on the show, I’m smart enough to realise that if everything was dumped straight up in the first episode it would defeat the entire purpose – but rather in the characters’ unwillingness to ask questions. This is exactly the same situation that exists in the Dark Tower series. Eddie and Susannah are swept up in Roland’s quest and agree to seek out the Dark Tower without understanding what it is or why he seeks it. Jake’s adventures in New York are doubly frustrating, partly because we have to read about them at all, and partly because they’re all about fate and destiny and visions and things he just “knows.” It’s tedious to read, it bogged down the pace and I got mighty sick of it. (Yes, I was quite disappointed when Lost’s fifth season finale suddenly took a sharp turn back towards the DESTINY theme. Jacob in particular pissed me off, it felt like fan-fiction.)

But then – hallelujah! – Jake is drawn into the gunslinger’s world and we resume our quest. Not only that, but we finally get answers, as Roland divulges the reason he seeks out the Dark Tower – and a damn good one at that. It was established in the first two books that Roland’s world is euphemistically described as having “moved on;” not only has it suffered two separate apocalypse-level events, one a thousand years ago and one within living memory, but it seems to be physically coming apart at the seams. Time flows strangely, the sun rises and sets in odd directions, and the land itself is expanding like a cancer. The Dark Tower is a kind of lynchpin for reality itself. Roland intends to find it, make sense of it, and use it to repair his broken world. (Blaine, a diabolical entity encountered at the conclusion of the book, implies in passing that each “level” of the Dark Tower contains an entire world, including our own world; so perhaps the Tower both exists inside the universe, and also contains it).

And is if that wasn’t good enough, the second half of the book is simply excellent storytelling. The travellers enter the ruined city of Lud, and their experiences there are on par with Eddie’s drawing in The Drawing of the Three, both on the plane and in Balazar’s nightclub, for the best writing of the series so far – and the best writing King has ever done. Jake’s drawing drags The Wastelands down quite a bit, but the rest of the book is brilliant, and probably better than its predecessor.

My previous complaints about the Dark Tower series largely rested on the fact that it took too long to build up momentum. The Gunslinger introduced the quest and the hero, and the Drawing of the Three introduced his companions. The Wastelands, at long last, fires up the engine and comes screaming out of the garage. This series may have taken its sweet time to get started, but now I’m glad I put the effort in.

I sure feel bad for all the original readers who had to wait nine years for this book, though.

I’m sad. I’m really sad that there’s only one more season left of the best TV show ever.

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– Loved the opening scene. Apparently the statue was still standing when the Black Rock showed up, though presumably the cargo of dynamite will have something to say about that. But this scene also had a problem that has become frequent on Lost, which is the soundtrack giving us a sharp orchestral jump to say THIS IS A HUGE REVELATION whenever something happens that we’d already guessed. (The biggest offender so far was Richard emerging from the tent in the 1950s – we realised he was immortal two years ago, guys.) In this case it was “Always nice talking to you… Jacob.” In my mind, Jacob replied, “And you too… Hurley!”

– Jacob showing up at various points in the Lostie’s past was kinda neat, although the parts I liked best had nothing to do with Jacob at all, but rather were scenes we already knew about, but had never seen: Sawyer writing his letter, and Jack counting to five. Although what was up with Juliet’s completely superfluous, non-Jacob flashback where her parents are splitting up, shoved in just to be juxtaposed with her dilemmas on the island? That was some Season 1 shit right there.

– It was nice to see Bernard and Rose still alive, living with Vincent, and their weary eye-rolling about the young folks’ antics was amusing. I still think killing off the rest of the Oceanic 815 survivors was gay.

– I was astonished, but pleased, that somebody finally found the DS ring Charlie left in Aaron’s crib, two fucking seasons after he put it there. Desmond never did give Claire the “Greatest Hits” note. Way to go, Desmond.

– “Sayid, are you sure you know what you’re doing?” / “Of course, Jack, my years in the Republican Guard trained me well in the art of DISMANTLING 50’S-ERA NUCLEAR WARHEADS.”

– Continued to love the teamwork between Jack and Sayid. Sayid getting shot in the gut was really shocking, and I thought for a minute that throughout the episode we were going to see every character die only to eventually have the timeline be changed, brining them back to life. That would have made for a pretty morbid episode. Speaking of death, Jack finally killed someone – a pair of innocent DHARMA stooges!

– When Sawyer asked Jack why he was so determined to change the past, I thought he was going to reply, “To save the three hundred people on that plane.” That’s what Jack is all about – saving people! Instead he said, “Because I had her,” and went ON AND ON about Kate. When Sawyer asked Juliet why she’d suddenly changed her mind, I thought she was going to say “Because Sayid just died;” instead, she said “Because if I never meet you, I’ll never have to lose you.” Why is every character such a self-centred cunt? Literally hundreds of lives are hanging in the balance and they’re harping on about their stupid melodramatic high-school relationship dramas.

– It was oddly satisfying to see Jack and Sawyer have a punch-up. I’ve always wanted to see a fight between Jack and Locke – a proper fight, not the merciless beatdown Jack gives him in the Season 4 opener – but I think that ship has sailed.

– By far the best part of this episode was the steel crate Ilana and co were lugging around turning out to contain the real John Locke’s corpse. And this brings us to the Man in Black, who apparently has the power to take on the form of the dead. Is he Smokey? Is he the one who has been appearing as Christian, as Charlie, as Libby and Ana-Lucia and Eko? In retrospect, I am staggered at how far this show has come, from a character drama about plane crash survivors, through to a mysterious struggle between Ben and Widmore, and now into an ancient battle between two incomprehensible powers.

– Loved seeing Ben, the master manipulator, finally getting manipulated himself. He stabbed Jacob pretty lamely, though. If you’re going to murder someone like that you should place your other hand on their shoulder and stare angrily into their eyes as you stab them underhanded in the abdomen. It just seems right that way. Is that from a Shakespeare play?

– Juliet hitting the bomb at the end to set it off? Kinda… stupid. Unneccesary and unrealistic. And I’m really uncertain why they chose her character to do it: a late addition to the show, someone who was interesting in Season 3 when the dynamic was between the survivors and the Others, but who hasn’t really seemed to have a purpose for the last two seasons. It was a pretty pivotal moment, and it would have made a lot more sense if it had been Kate.

– I absolutely loved the white title card.

I thought I was positive as to how this season would play out: it would be an on-island/off-island split, following the adventures of the Oceanic Six as they tried to figure out how to get back, and the adventures of the Left Behinders as they survived on the island for three years. The season finale would culminate with Locke leaving the island, and the Oceanic Six returning to it.

The fifth episode blew that out of the water, and for the rest of the season I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Season six? Season six could be motherfucking anything, and I can’t wait to see it. I absolutely love this show, and I’m so happy that it exists, and that I’ve grown up with it. I’m going to remember it for a long time. I’m going to remember watching the pilot episode on videotape at Chris’ house after school, seeing Jack run around pulling people out of burning plane wreckage, and being instantly hooked. I’m going to remember renting out the entire third season on DVD in December 2007, coming home from terrible, stressful days at the deli in the Christmas rush, and watching brilliant episodes like “Par Avion” and “Through The Looking Glass.” I’m going to remember downloading the fourth and fifth seasons through this primitive tool we had back in my day called “bittorrent,” bootlegged .avi files ripped from Tivo with Italian subtitles. I’m going to remember watching “The Shape of Things To Come,” late at night in my bedroom with rain drumming down on the roof, when Lost was my regular dose of fantasy escapism during a very bad time in my life. I’m going to remember watching episodes on my laptop on a bus winding through the mountain roads of snowy Hokkaido, or at 1:00 AM on a silent, dark plane over the Java Sea.

I can’t fucking wait for the last season.

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for some reason i've expected to see an underwater tunnel scenario since season 3

– Locke was being a smug jerk most of this episode. I’ve never really liked him, although sometimes I’ve pitied him, and I don’t like the way the writers are clearly setting him up to be the Ultimate Messiah. I also don’t like the New Jack, tainted and corrupted as he is by Locke’s mysticism, although at least he seems to have shed his stoner-like placidity and is taking an active role in making things happen again.

– Predicting that “killing Jacob” is what Locke needs to do to “help” him and that it will free him some way. Hate Locke I might, but I think he’s right when he implies that Ben and Richard have been exploiting Jacob as a God-like figure to manipulate the Others.

– Richard claims he saw everyone die in the past. I’m willing to bet he only saw them in a distant explosion or some such, and he simply assumes they’re dead.

– When Chang said “Let’s hope he knows what he’s doing” I thought please cut to Faraday’s corpse please cut to Faraday’s corpse please cut to Faraday’s corpse yesssssssssssss

– Chang questioning a clueless Hurley to determine he was a time traveller was probably the most I’ve ever laughed at Lost.

– What was the point in having Jin learn English if you’re only going to give him approx. one line of dialogue every six episodes?

– Sayid shooting a Dickhead Other was FUCK YEAH AWESOME. So was Sayid following the group into the underwater tunnels (and I loved Jack’s smile when he did). Not to mention his usual intelligent reasoning about Eloise’s motives. Basically Sayid is an awesome character, the only crash survivor with a goddamn brain in his head, and a 4 episode gap without him is way too long.

– Cover-my-bases prediction: we’ve had plenty of flashbacks this season, but not a single flashforward, and as viewers we’ve been conditioned into thinking that the show is done with them. They could very easily pull another surprise one on us, just like in “Through The Looking Glass.” It would be a cheap shot, but if I was one of the writers I’d find it irresistable.

– As with all good penultimate episodes (think “Greatest Hits” and “Cabin Fever”), this one gave a brilliant impression of, well, penultimate-ness: an excellent introduction to an awesome finale.

– I’m also predicting that the Ack’s season finale rule will hold true for the fifth season in a row:

“Look, Juliet. You seem like a nice woman. But as you are a new kid on the block, let me just explain: Every finale, we let Jack think he’s off saving everyone, but while he goes off and fraks everything up, I actually come in and get it done. Big Time.”

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TELL ME WHERE THE BOMB IS OR I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL KILL YOU

– Daniel really deserved to get shot acting the way he did. Walking into the Others’ camp waving a gun around? Locke proved that all you need to do to get their attention is shout around for Richard, the only one of them who’s not a complete psycho.

– Kate is such an idiot. “These people are not gonna be happy to see us… might be a good idea to bring some guns.” SOUNDS LIKE A BANG-UP PLAN YOU FUCKING MORON. You went and saw them less than two days ago and they were fine with it, plus you are now seeing them with the intent of peacefully talking to the mother of a member of your party. This was obviously forced just so that Daniel would be holding a gun and justify Eloise shooting him. The entire scene was terribly contrived, and the whole episode revolved around it.

– The shootout with Radzinsky also served little purpose, except to further illustrate the point that he’s a total asshole. Plus for a moment I thought that Jack, after 100 episodes, was finally about to kill someone (and it would have been a DHARMA hippy). Claire and Walt are the only other members of the original cast without blood on their hands. Even Hurley ran a guy down in his van.

– I generally don’t worry about the plot holes inevitable in any story about time travel, but if Eloise really believes that “whatever happened, happened,” then why did she go to so much effort to make sure Daniel went back to the island?

– Daniel’s conversation with young Charlotte was simultaneously touching, and hilariously creepy.

The best part of the episode by far was Daniel’s revelation that he intends to try to change the future: to prevent the Incident from happening, thus preventing the button-situation at the Swan, thus preventing the crash of Oceanic 815, thus preventing the arrival of the freighter and the island’s moving through time. I’m only just realising now that his desire to do so is to prevent them from being thrown back in time, and he only wanted to see Eloise because she knew where the hydrogen bomb was buried (wouldn’t detonating that obliterate the entire island, though?)

Kate’s reponse to Daniel’s declaration of his plan was “and how exactly do you plan on destroying this energy?” which again proves what an idiot she is. The correct response is “WHAT THE FUCK WILL HAPPEN TO US, NAY, TO THE UNIVERSE?” Even if you accept that dicking around with time like that won’t cause the world to crumple up like a paper cup, both Jack and Kate benefited from the crash: Kate escaped prison, and Jack found a purpose in his fucked-up life. All the crash survivors benefited, in fact – except for Sayid, who got caught up in a vast conflict that killed his wife and turned him into a pawn. Both Jack and Kate have a vested interest in ensuring the future remains the same, so I’m not sure why they kept on just following Daniel. Oh, Kate made a minor complaint to Jack, who has become the most passive character on the show, but honestly. Shoot the mad scientist. Oh, never mind, Eloise did it for you.

I still expect to see some attempt to be made to change the future, which should be cool and interesting. There would be something bittersweet about it; watching the characters do the right thing (i.e. save the lives of everyone on the plane – including their friends who died on the island, like Boone and Shannon and Charlie), but have nobody even realise it, and be robbed of their status as heroes as well as eliminating the most defining event in their otherwise mundane lives, a la John Connor successfully preventing the machine uprising in Terminator 2. And if we hadn’t already seen it in “316,” I wouldn’t be surprised if time ended up being cyclical somehow, and the final scene of the show mirrored the first:


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OH NO THE IRA FINALLY CAUGHT UP TO ME

– This was a decent episode. I’ve always liked Miles more than I should have, because he’s an insufferable sarcastic prick (note to self: do I like characters who are insufferable sarcastic pricks because I am one myself?), but if the show is going to explore his character more than I can justify it.

– Bram, who nabs Miles in the van in Los Angeles, was also on Flight 316 and was first seen backing Ilana up last episode, when she knocks Frank out. I’m interested in these people – at first I thought they were working for Widmore, but he suggests in this episode that they’re against him. So they’re either with Ben, or there’s a third faction struggling for control of the island. Also, let the record show that Bram looks like a poor man’s Brendan Fraser.

– What exactly is the Lostie’s game plan? Jack’s dusting blackboards, Hurley’s making sandwiches for people… are you guys actually going to, y’know, try and get back to the present? Or are you just gonna live out your life in the 1970s DHARMA Intiative? Showing a lack of curiosity about the island is one thing, but this is something else entirely.

– Lol @ Sawyer punching out that jerkass Phil.

– Faraday returning was great. If my “he went through the wheel” theory fails, I’m going to fall back on “he has told Chang everything.”

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murdered locke, blackmailed jack, made sayid a killing machine, shot desmond, terrorised innocent plane crash survivors, authorised mass murder... this ain't looking good

– This episode was a good one, but not quite as great as I was expecting it to be. I’m glad we saw more of the smoke monster, although graphically it’s gone back to looking as terrible as it did in the first season. (Its sound effects have always more than make up for that, however).

– Lost is sometimes excellent and sometimes awful at handling characters at different points in history. On the one hand, the casting for different actors is always top-notch: 10-year old Ben looks exactly like the kind of kid 40-year old Ben would have been, and 40-year old Widmore looked exactly like a young 70-year old Widmore. When using the same actor, however, the crew always seem compelled to use a bunch of terrible wigs and/or haircuts. Ben’s hair in the scene where he was banishing Widmore was ludicrous.

– “I never pictured you leading your people from behind a desk – it seems rather corporate,” Locke says, as he SITS DOWN BEHIND THE DESK.

– What was up with Ben being a fully-fledged Other? He was supposed to be their inside man in the DHARMA Initiative right up until the Purge. Instead he seems to be hanging in their camp and raising a kid 24/7. Ethan was too, pre-Purge. I can maybe buy Ben going back and forth between the two camps, but no way would a 12-year old kid have been able to. (Also, shouldn’t Danielle have recognised “Henry Gale” as the man who took her daughter?)

– Saying “tell Desmond I’m sorry,” was a cheap shot, but fairly well-done. I’m pretty happy with how Ben’s attempted revenge turned out (and “Our Mutual Friend” was a nice touch), though I hope this isn’t the last we see of Desmond. My first thought was that Ben killed Penelope, and Desmond therefore returned to the island to seek revenge; my next best guess is that Faraday goes through the frozen wheel, lands in the present and finds Desmond, convincing him to return for… some reason or another.

– So Caesar’s dead, which is a shame because he was shaping up to a be a decent character. I like anybody who shows even a shred of resourcefulness/curiosity on this fucking island. Ilana + co would appear to be going insane, presumably from “the sickness.” Either that or they’re agents of Widmore. I’m a lot more interested in the island in the present, and the fate of the 316ers, than I am in the island in the past and the 815ers. I wonder what’s in that big metal crate?

– When Ben said his final line of the episode, he seemed to be absolutely miserable: “It let me live.” I don’t think he was “spared” at all; I think that being forced to abdicate the throne in favour of Locke is, for him, worse than death.

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we learn the shocking truth about alpert's sexual predation

– Kate is a pretty boring character and all the times in this episode when she was tearing up about Aaron I just could not give a shit. Everything about Cassidy and Clementine was also fairly obvious from last season. Nonetheless, this was still a better episode than last week’s.

– Jack is a total asshole this season, and his motivations are all over the joint. Why would he suddenly decide he doesn’t want to save Ben when he had previously gotten over the fact that Ben was an EVIL SON OF A BITCH WHO AUTHORISED THE MURDER/KIDNAPPING/GENERAL TERRORISING OF YOUR FELLOW CRASH SURVIVORS and worked together with him to get back to the island? Either he’s completely inconsistent, or he was doing it because he was bing a sulky little bitch about the whole Kate/Sawyer thing. I concur with Kate when she said that she liked the old Jack better; unlike her, I did in fact like the old Jack.

– Another shitty thing about New Jack is his remark to Juliet when he was getting out of the shower: “I came back because I was supposed to.” Jack is the last person who should be getting corrupted by Locke’s stupid mysticism.

– I liked the little pat-on-the-back comraderie between Sawyer and Miles. After three years together, the Left Behinders should be closer to each other than any of the Oceanic 6. Which is also why Kate’s return should not even begin to matter to Sawyer and Juliet.

– Hurley and Miles’ time travel discussion was cute.

– So Sayid was responsible for Ben becoming an Other? Way to go, Sayid. Also: Richard talking about “taking Ben’s innocence” was very creepy in a pedophilic way.

– I literally laughed out loud at the ending. Locke has presumably been sitting next to Ben’s bed 24/7, waiting for him to wake up just so he can see the look on Ben’s face as he scares the shit out of him, and using the time to run through a mental shortlist of the smug remark he will make upon Ben’s awakening. Classic.

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every scene taking place in a distant city MUST have a landmark in the background

1. So as it turns out, “he” is a crazy old redneck called Oldham and “you” is Sayid. Except he’s not “our you” at all, because whereas Sayid graduated from the Jack Bauer School of Making People Talk, Oldham is a pussy who uses chemical interrogation. What is this, the Geneva Convention? Psshaaw.

2. I’m glad we saw more about how Ben and Sayid ended their professional relationship, but it still seems out of place to me that he went and built houses for orphans in the Dominican Republic. He should have sunk into alcoholic despair or something. And why didn’t he check back in with his friends? Was he ashamed of having worked for Ben?

3. And I know this shouldn’t be something I still focus on, but FOR GOD’S SAKE SAYID ASK BEN SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT SHIT. On the same track, I can guarantee you Sawyer has asked Juliet nothing about the island despite three years of living with her. Nothing.

4. Watching Young Ben more, he really is the perfect actor for the role. He has the same shaped face, the same creepy eyes, everything.

5. I think this episode marks the first time Sayid laughs. It was… somewhat disturbing.

6. I’m intrigued by the DHARMA command structure. Pierre Chang would appear to be the head honcho, and yet he has not been involved in the Sayid issue at all.

7. Is Ilana really working for Ben? Ben did seem legitimately surprised when he stepped onto the plane and saw Sayid there. But I don’t buy the Avellino story. Everybody seems to have a stake in getting the O6 back to the island – perhaps her employer is Ms. Hawking, or Widmore.

8. Sayid shooting Ben was a bit of a shock, but didn’t really seem a big deal, because obviously they are not going to kill off the best character on the show. Next episode we’re going to see Jack spring into action to save the life of the innocent child Sayid capped.

9. And while we’re on that, lol @ Sayid’s logic. “I’ll show Benjamin Linus I’m not a killer… by killing him!”

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deja vu!

The last two episodes were brilliant, because they both answered burning questions – namely, what did Locke do when he visited the mainland, and what became of those who were left on the island? This episode felt like a downshift, because it was back to boring old narrative progression. That’s… odd, that my thought pattern should go like that.

Anyway.

– I’m still befuddled as to why Jack, Hurley, Kate and Sayid were sucked into the past, while Sun, Frank, Ben and Locke remained in the present. One theory I’ve heard suggests that it’s because Locke “invited” Jack, Hurley, Kate and Sayid back to the island, but not the others. This doesn’t explain why Locke himself is still in the present though.

– I’m also at a loss as to why they “needed” to return in the first place. The problems with timeshifting stopped when Locke turned the wheel; Ben turning the wheel appeared to have been the cause in the first place. The Oceanic Six escaping the island at the same time was an unrelated coincidence. Speaking of which, I’m still waiting for an explanation as to why Ben had to “move the island” to hide it when, according to Eloise Hawking, the island is always moving.

– Interesting to see that Faraday isn’t around anymore. Dead? In the season opener we saw him gain access to the Orchid; my guess is that the next person we see waking up in the Sahara Desert will be Danny boy. (Incidentally, I only just realised the purpose of the fish biscuit mechanisms at the Hydra: they were training the bears to turn the wheel, as in Season 4 we saw Charlotte find a polar bear skeleton with a Hydra collar in the Sahara).

– Jack and Sawyer were being dicks to each other for no good reason in this episode. And you know, after five seasons of this show I really should have accepted that the character never, ever, ever ask questions. But I haven’t. Even if Sawyer feels like readin his book and thinking up a plan, Jack should be off talking to Juliet or Jin and asking what the hell has been happening to them for the last three years. HAVE YOU PEOPLE NO CURIOSITY WHATSOEVER?

– Christian picked up (and then handed to Sun) a framed photograph. I think this is the first evidence we have that he is a tangible, physical being, rather than a spirit or vision (which is why I thought he couldn’t help Locke up when he broke his leg at the bottom of the hole). Also, lol at Jin not even being in the photo.

– Some are saying that a figure can be seen moving behind Sun while she looks at the photo, but my torrented video file is too grainy to make it out.

– Nice to see that they brought back the actor who played Young Ben in the first season. Kid has the creepiness downpat. Predicting that he will bust Sayid out and take him to the 1970’s Others, where we will hopefully also see Rose, Bernard and any other surviving 815ers.

– And finally, WHERE IS THE HANDSOME SCOT? I dearly hope Ben hasn’t killed Penny, but at this point I’m hard-pressed to think of any other reason for Desmond to return to the island except to seek revenge. Unless… unless Daniel goes to see him after waking up in the Sahara…

Next episode: “He’s Our You.” I’m curious to find out who the two people referred to are.

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alpert approaches the village people

1. Now that the timelines have matched up, I think the entire background cast of crash survivors can be assumed to have died in the fire attack… but surely they wouldn’t kill off Rose and Bernard like that?

2. Speaking of timelines, why is it that Ben and Locke have stayed put while the others got sucked into the past? Is it because the island considers them “Others?” If so, why is Juliet moving? And what happened to the tailies who were absorbed by the Others?

3. I thought Juliet and Swayer being together was cute and, surprisingly, believable. In any case it was entirely worth it just to see him visually projecting the mono-word thought of “AWKWARD” when he meets Kate at the end.

4. Thank god Jin can now believably speak English, because for the first half of this season he’s practically been quoting Shakespeare and it was stupid. Also, on the topic of things that can be changed now that we’re three years in the future, Sawyer should have short hair.

5. The glimpse of the statue, even from behind, was awesome.

6. I sure hope that at some point during the three years they’ve been together, Swayer said to Juliet, “So… what’s up with the Others/smoke monster/Jacob/lists/terrorising plane crash survivors?”

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