12 January 2006

Tavarez Contract Details, LOST 1/11, "Triumph"...

Yesterday on the blog I predicted this as Julian Tavarez's contract with the Red Sox:

I'm guessing 2-yr, $7.25 million dollar contract. We shall see.

As it turns out, I was off, but in the right direction. The deal is worth two years, $6.7 million. Here are the more detailed aspects of the contract:

Tavarez, a 32-year-old right-hander, gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $3.1 million in each of the next two seasons. The agreement also includes a club option for 2008 of $3.85 million. That option would become guaranteed if Tavarez appears in a total of 125 games in the next two seasons or 65 games in 2007.

When considering this deal, just remember the contracts already doled out to Bobby Howry, Scott Eyre, Braden Looper and Kyle Farnsworth. This should a good sign for the Sox- depth in the bullpen is always a good thing, and dealing from strength in a trade where pitching is concerned is never a bad thing.

Now for a nickname. Loco is the early favorite, but something surrounding his mirror-shattering appearance could work too. "Acid-fight"? "The Mask"? "Krueger"?

So LOST emerged last night from the agonizing six-week layoff with yet another KILLER episode (**NOTE- IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE EPISODE, SKIP AHEAD**). This one centered on Eko, both in backstory and on the island (see- I WAS right)- it was entitled "The 23rd Psalm." Powerful stuff.

Turns out Eko was originally from Nigeria. When he was little, he saved his brother from a rough fate (killing a man) and was more or less abducted by gangsters. He grows up, becomes a gangster (wearing, to be honest, a pretty over-the-top ridiculous outfit) and is in the drug running business. He's described as "not having a soul," and even kills two men selling him drugs without a second thought1.

Meanwhile, Eko learns of the existence of the drug-filled Virgin Mary statues on the island, and demands Charlie take him there. While on the hunt, they encounter The Monster2, which appears as a thin, thinking strip of black smoke. We get our first really good look at it, and the camera even travels inside the smoke, where we get images from Eko's past.

Eventually we come to realize that the Nigerian drug plane that is crashed on the island is the one that Eko himself commissioned to smuggle drugs out of Nigeria. We see him ask his brother- a priest now- to make them official priests so that they can fly the drugs out, and in exchange offers money for a polio vaccine for his parish. When the brother refuses, Eko intimates that his friends will burn down the church. The priest finally concedes.

The deal goes bad, as Eko's brother alerts the authorities. Since they are all wearing priest uniforms, when Eko's brother comes to warn him of the impending arrests/ gunfire, he is mistaken for a drug smuggler and shot. In the ensuing chaos, Eko's brother is thrown onto the plane with Eko's two partners- one of which kicks Eko OFF the plane. Eko is then mistaken for a real priest, and the plane flys off.

Only, of course, to crash on the same island Eko does years later. After finding the plane- and his brother's body- he burns it in honor of his brother. When Charlie asks him if he is a priest, he answers "yes." The cool part of this is considering what this question means- did Eko assume the identity of a priest for years after the incident, embracing it and becoming the pious man he is now? Does he use the official documents "making" him a priest to fake it for a while, and something ELSE makes him embrace it? Interesting.

Meanwhile, Michael, reeling from his correspondence on the "4 8 15 16 23 42" computer with "Walt" (if that was him), attempts to clear out the hatch in order to attempt to reconnect. He is successful, and has the following exchange with Walt3:

>: Are you OK?
Are you alone?
>: Yes.
Can't talk long. They're coming back soon.
>: Where are you?
You have to com-

The messaging cuts off when the camera cuts away to Jack, who enters in an effort to comfort Michael about Walt and promise him they're going to "go out and bring him back." Michael previously in the episode was snooping around the gun locker, and got shooting lessons from Locke for this very reason.

The end of the episode comes with Charlie, who's done a good job of convincing everyone but Claire that he's no longer a heroin addict, and that he had the heroin statue just for comfort, alone in a secret hiding place, where he has a stash of them hidden.

  1. Just before Eko kills these Arab men, one can distinctly hear a shout of "Sayid!" Whether that's my interpreting something close to the sound of "Sayid" that means something different in Arabic or not- I don't know. But it's there.

  2. In the black smoke of the Security Machine, we see the following images (in varying order):
    -Eko on the beach after the crash (upside down)
    -Eko's brother's church
    -Mysterious woman/ man image (Eko's mother/ father?)
    -A second woman- likely from a church scene earlier
    -Man Eko shoots as a young boy
    -Eko as a young man
    -Eko's brother being shot from later in the episode
    -Another look at his brother being shot
    -Young Eko and brother with gun
    -Eko's drug smuggle partner

  3. Just off the top of my head, the first guess I made on what Walt typed to Michael (which we don't see) is "You have to come and get me, Dad." This would likely be a LITTLE too obvious, but given what we see Michael does in the scenes from next week's episode, it seems pretty logical to me. I think the twist on this little story wrinkle comes elsewhere.

Tremendous episode. Next week's looks fucking intense.

I was listening to it on the way to work today, so now you have to read it (or not, I guess)- my favorite rap song of all time, and the greatest rap verse I've ever heard. From one Mr. Inspectah Deck, on the Wu Tang Clan's "Triumph":

I bomb atomically, Socrates' philosophies
and hypothesis can't define how I be droppin these
mockeries, lyrically perform armed robbery
Flee with the lottery, possibly they spotted me
Battle-scarred shogun, explosion when my pen hits
tremendous, ultra-violet shine blind forensics
I inspect you, through the future see millenium
Killa B's sold fifty gold sixty platinum
Shacklin the masses with drastic rap tactics
Graphic displays melt the steel like blacksmiths
Black Wu jackets queen B's ease the guns in
Rumble with patrolmen, tear gas laced the function
Heads by the score take flight incite a war
Chicks hit the floor, diehard fans demand more
Behold the bold soldier, control the globe slowly
Proceeds to blow swingin swords like Shinobi
Stomp grounds and pound footprints in solid rock
Wu got it locked, performin live on your hottest block

Unbelievable. Those first few lines are unreal. Absolutely astonishing.

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