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With four episodes left of the greatest series of our time, I’m going to post my limited theory about the ending, and get it down on the record in case it turns out to be true.

SPOILER ALERT! THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR EPISODES UP TO AND INCLUDING SEASON 5 EPISODE 12, “RABID DOG!” SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS! (And obviously it’s such a brilliant theory that it’s probably going to be true, obvs.)

So we know that the season has been defined thus far by the two flashforwards which take place a year from the current timeline, in which Walt is 52. His cancer is advanced, and he’s been hiding out in New Hampshire for a while. He purchases an M60 machine gun from his weapons dealer, and when he returns to his house to retrieve his hidden ricin, it has been boarded up and abandoned, the name “HEISENBERG” is spraypainted on the wall and his neighbour screams when she sees him. His family is dead or gone. His secret is out. But he obviously has something big planned.

In the present day, Lydia is trying to get Walt to return to the meth business, because Declan’s production isn’t up to scratch. Walt refuses. She goes to visit Declan at his secret underground meth lab in Arizona, and asks him to reconsider using Todd – a crap cook, but better than Declan’s guy. Declan objects that Todd started a fire last time he cooked. When he refuses to relent, Todd and his uncles show up anyway and kill Declan’s men. Lydia, Todd and his uncles take the materials and head back to New Mexico.

This storyline is so far unrelated to the Walt vs Hank showdown that’s comprised the bulk of the season. I came up with my theory before watching the most recent episode, Rabid Dog, but that episode only served to strengthen it, because in the course of his discussion with Hank – when Hank is trying to convince Jesse that Walt cares about him – Jesse mentions, almost as a throwaway line, that “I’m the only [meth cook] near as good as him.”

I’m predicting that some shit is going to go down between Walt/Jesse and Todd’s uncles, and that Walt is going to be run out of town – his family, including Hank, killed – while Jesse is going to be abducted and forced to toil in slavery in some secret meth lab, never seeing the light of day. This would fit neatly with Jesse’s continuing spiral into a living hell, and bring back meth production in a show that has always revolved around it, in a season which has abandoned it. Walt – with nothing left to lose and a scant shred of redemption to be gained – has come out of hiding and purchased heavy weaponry in an attempt to rescue his wayward son.

That’s my theory. Just getting it down on record in case it turns out to be spot on.

(Spoilers, obviously)

I think The Walking Dead is a pretty neat TV show, despite a weak second season, and I enjoy watching it. And I’m certainly not one of those people who sits through every TV show and movie loudly snorting in derision at unrealistic scenarios or characters making foolish decisions. But as somebody who has spent endless hours writing an epic zombie survival saga of my own, I can’t help but watch a show like this and note down every dumb decision the characters make. It’s still a good show, I still enjoy it, and I’m well aware that if it was me in Rick’s shoes I wouldn’t have made out of the hospital in episode one of season one without bursting into tears and committing suicide. With that said, I’m going to tally up every dumb decision made throughout the course of season three.

1. As the group discusses their next move over the roadmap, we learn that they’re apparently trying to head south. Ah, the Floridian peninsula – a landform swarming with the elderly and surrounded on three sides by water. Head west! Less population = less zombies.

2. Wasting bullets shooting zombies in the prison yard when you could just lure them to the fence and stab them.

3. Herschel complains that Rick is on his third loop of the prison fence at night-time. This is technically not a dumb decision, but rather a character tutting about a smart decision. Apparently having regular patrols in a world where zombies want to eat your face off is a sign of obsessive paranoia. Especially when you have much better ways to spend your time, like campfire sing-songs.

4. Failure to wear any kind of facial protection when getting up close and personal with undead – hacking heads off, stabbing skulls, and just generally spraying rotting, infected bodily fluids everywhere. Carpenter’s masks, surgical masks, welding masks, diving masks, swimming goggles, laboratory goggles. Failing that, at least wear sunglasses and wrap a towel around your face. And gloves – dish-washing gloves, motorcycle gloves…

5. Fighting the zombies in the dark in close quarters, rather than leaving the doors open and drawing them outside into the open.

6. Putting the only person with medical training in your flush-and-kill team.

Episode 1: 6 dumb decisions. I’m including the campfire scene because everyone sits there worrying that Rick is too highly-strung instead of RELIEVING HIM AS SENTRY so he can get some sleep.
Season total: 6

I’ve been watching Breaking Bad over the last few months, after hearing for years about what an amazing show it is, and particularly after the promotion campaign for Season 4 plastered Bryan Cranston’s terrifying face on the side of buses all over Melbourne (above). It’s hard not to gush, but everything people say about this show is true. It’s the best TV drama ever filmed and deserves all of its praise. It’s easily unseated Lost as my favourite non-comedy ever, and not just because of the weakness of that show’s final two seasons. Whenever I said that Lost was the best show on TV I always had to throw in a disclaimer mentioning that I just loved the concept – I knew the script was hammy, the music awful and the acting second-rate (with a few brilliant exceptions, like roses in cow shit). But Breaking Bad – every bit of it – is art. I have no doubt that if Shakespeare lived in contemporary New Mexico, he would be writing this show.

Given the number of accolades Breaking Bad has received (Bryan Cranston has won Oustanding Lead Actor at the Emmy Awards for three years running), you’ve likely heard of the concept: a high school science teacher finds out he has terminal cancer, and teams up with a dropkick former student to cook meth to provide for his family after he dies. This sounds at first like a hook for a sitcom about an off-the-wall mid-life crisis; indeed, Breaking Bad often verges on black comedy, particularly in the hilariously endearing Odd Couple relationship between Jesse and Walt (whom Jesse still, adorably, refers to as Mr. White). At the same time the show plunges into miserable, gory depths of bleak horror, the stark reality of crime – and that’s just in the first three episodes.


FROM HERE ON THERE ARE SPOILERS ALL OVER THE PLACE, SERIOUSLY, THIS TV SERIES IS THE CROWNING ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE LAST DECADE IN AMERICAN TELEVISION, WATCH THE FIRST THREE EPISODES AND TELL ME YOU DON’T WANT TO WATCH THIS SERIES UNSPOILED

The elevator pitch implies this is a show about a good man who is forced to turn to dark things because of the US healthcare system and his own poverty – like so many crime stories, a way of exploring a fascinating criminal underworld through the eyes of a sympathetic, likeable character. Walt is so fucking far from that. Vince Gilligan, the show’s creator, had the explicit intent to take a protagonist and turn him into an antagonist. It becomes clear in the first season that, in spite of all the bloodletting and murder and threat to not only himself but his family, Walt gets a kick out of doing this. He repeatedly turns down opportunities to get out of the drug trade, and somewhere along the way he comes to see cooking meth as a way of becoming successful – something that he never was in any other aspect of life. Walt is a depressed, crabby old man who believes that life has not given him what he deserves and is obsessed with what others think of him. His more positive aspects as a father, husband or friend are window-dressing. He is a scheming narcissist who will sacrifice anything to further his own advantages and desires.

What makes this character arc so beautiful and interesting is how complex it is – how many other factors are at play. Walt is a human, and contains multitudes. Most of his actions have several motives, and he still sometimes shows hesitation (Jane’s death) and regret (crying to his son about having a punch-up with Jessie). I facetiously compared Breaking Bad to Shakespeare before (although to be honest I never got the big deal about Shakespeare) but there is no Lear or Macbeth in Walt. He is not a character carefully constructed to tell a moral fable, but rather an ineffably human character, who makes mistakes and reveals his flaws and still has something inside him that makes you want him to succeed.

Gilligan mentioned in an interview that I can no longer find that every viewer would have a point where they would turn against Walt, where he would do something they thought was beyond the pale, but that the moment would be different for every viewer. There are a number of obvious candidates – some would say that selling meth is one of them – but for me it had nothing to do with the drug trade. It actually comes in “Over,” an episode late in Season 2, when Walt’s family is hosting a party to celebrate his cancer going into remission – something he is secretly bitter about, as it heralds a return to his quotidian life as a suburban dad. He keeps pouring his son shots of tequila, and at first Hank – his brother-in-law DEA agent, a loudmouth idiot who was at first seemingly inserted into the series to provide extra tension – laughingly goes along with it. As Walt continues pouring his 15-year-old cerebral-palsy-inflicted son shots of tequila, Hank tries to make him stop, only to be met with Walt’s steely-faced resolve. Hank eventually takes the bottle and walks away, only to have Walt scream after him across the yard. He responds in his typical joking manner, and the situation is defused when Walt Jr suddenly throws up. Hank’s reaction is critical – not only does he prove himself to be a more responsible and mature parental figure than Walt, but he tries to preserve Walt’s honour in front of his family by making it out to be a joke. Walt, on the other hand, is so furiously petty about his miraculous recovery preventing him from a life of crime that he’s reduced to getting his kicks out of boozing up his own son. He later apologises to Walt Jr, saying “That wasn’t me,” but the plain truth to any viewer is that this is precisely what Walt is: not a good man forced to do bad things, but a man who is – in any walk of life – a fundamentally bad person.

I find it particularly interesting to compare him to Hank. In the pilot episode, at Walt’s surprise birthday party, Hank is introduced as a brash and arrogant asshole with a badge, the kind of man who thinks he’s much cooler than he really is. Walt, on the other hand, is a meek and henpecked science teacher – more likeable, but not as much of a man. As the series goes on, Hank is involved in some intense work on the Mexican border, which nearly gets him killed and leaves him with PTSD – to the point where he finds himself unable to return and admits, “I’m not the man I thought I was.” Walt, on the other hand, proves himself to be capable of staring down a drug kingpin and demanding $50,000 from him, yet is also shown to be increasingly selfish and unstable. Their positions are entirely reversed. Walt is a strong man, but a bad person; Hank is a weak man, but a good person.

There’s a moment in the final episode of Season 4, where Gus – one of the finest villains to ever grace a television screen – is sitting in his car and looking at a building, and we as viewers know that some sort of climax is coming. It would be an unremarkable scene, if not for the music used. If somebody who had never seen the show before saw nothing but that scene, with that music, they’d assume Gus was the hero.

I could go on about this series. Like only a few other artworks (The Assassination of Jesse James comes to mind) it’s a production in which everything – the acting, the script, the music, the cinematography – is individually excellent and comes together seamlessly to create something brilliant. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Giancarlo Esposito and Dean Norris are all amazing. The show utilises its natural setting to great effect, particularly with the use of light and sound, especially silence – not since “No Country For Old Men” have I seen a movie or TV show accomplish so much with silence. Most importantly of all, the writers are willing to take this story in directions that have never really been seen before on television.

All this gushing isn’t to say that it’s flawless. I don’t think a TV serial can be flawless, because the nature of the medium means that it’s impossible to present a finished product. Season 4 dragged in the middle, and the ending, while morally plausible for Walt’s character at this stage, was logistically sketchy. I found the finale of Season 2 to be a total cop-out, and I absolutely hated the twins in Season 3 – ludicrous action-movie villains who made a mockery of the realism Breaking Bad was founded upon (though they did, at least, climax with one of the most tense and heart-pounding scenes in the entire show.) It’s not perfect. It is, however, one of the greatest TV shows ever filmed, and if you haven’t seen it you need to rectify that straight away. (And you shouldn’t have read past the spoiler warning either, you cheat.)

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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