04 May 2006

"Two For the Road"

"LOST is back, and it's back big!"

Well, I finally saw Wednesday's episode of LOST. For those who didn't read in the last post's comments section- I went to tape it yesterday via VCR while watching the Sox, and it caught the video, but recorded- inexplicably- the audio from another channel. Magnificently fucking obnoxious.

So yea, I did see it. And if you haven't seen it and don't want to be spoiled... close your eyes here.


"Two For the Road"- tremendous, tremendous episode. Let me start with the obvious- Ana Lucia is 100%, totally dead. Not only does she die in the shot, but she supposedly only wanted to appear for a year on the show either way. The scene from next week clearly states "she's dead." Could it come back that she is now "in a coma?" Yea. But that would be a great way to blow a ton of credibility.

Libby, on the other hand isn't 100%. Consider-

  • She was holding onto something in front of her when shot. This could mean something

  • Every other major character to die has had some sort of closure, or growth. Boone was able to finally let go of his sister, Shannon was able to get love and respect, and Ana Lucia had finally come to terms with her rage and need for constant retribution. But not Libby.

  • Narratively, there almost needs to be a witness that survives (save for one corollary I'll point out later)

  • If Libby just dies- what was the point of her appearing as a fellow patient in Hurley's mental ward? Where can they go with that? Why would they raise it there, and in this episode ("hey, maybe I'll get drunk enough to remember you!") if they didn't have anywhere to go with it? It would be difficult to develop that if she's dead. Not impossible- but difficult.

  • Along this vein, there's Michael. Michael's first moments of consciousness back in the hatch are kind of suspicious, and actually tipped me off when they happened that he wasn't on the up and up. When telling Jack, John and Kate what he'd seen with the Others, he described how they were "dressed in rags" and "living in tents" and that they "have it worse than [they] do." As he was describing this, I personally thought immediately back to Kate's finding the "island hobo" outfit in the "Maternity Ward" episode. There was then a shot of Kate, registering a slight bit of recognition- this may be an instance where a strict "witness" isn't necessary, if any suspicion off the bat should grow towards Michael and what will be his story of events. It's very possible Kate had a feeling he was lying the whole time. Some level of suspicion would seem almost necessary for tension. We'll see though.

    So here are the possibilities on the Michael-may-have-lied development-

  • Was the "Zeke" guy trying to pass himself off as one of this (possibly) existing group?

  • Did Kate realize that, in fact, Michael's story didn't really add up since she knows that some part of that appearance is phoney?

  • Could this be some evidence that Michael was setting up his story- willingly or not- for some sort of end?

  • There very well could be an "island hobo" group on the island, along with the Ethan/ Zeke group that have their shit together a bit more. In this instance, Zeke's dressing up would mean he was trying to pass himself off as this group to the Lost group, which doesn't make sense right now, but possible. If Michael's story is legit, then there has to be an explanation for the turncoat business that may be inexplicable with the information we have. If he wasn't lying about that, there are a lot of questions with no answers at this point.

    I think far more likely is that there is no "island hobo" group, and that the story was a crock of shit from Michael from word go. A couple things to consider- the only time Michael truly gets passionate when talking about anything is when he's talking about Walt. Could that mean that Walt is the driving force behind what Michael's doing- ie, the Others communicated that the only chance he ever sees him again would be to sabotage this group?

    He does seem not to be "programmed." Before he shoots Ana Lucia, he expresses remorse, and shows trepidation. Moreover, his shooting Libby almost registers as a surprise- like he has a scripted plan to kill "a" Lost-y, then shoot himself and blame Gale (his ultimate destiny after the last shot is too much up in the air). But when Libby startled him, she was simply a mistake. But that's one interpretation.

    Another very significant sequence of events happens when Locke approaches Gale after Gale has attempted to kill Ana Lucia. Gale tells Locke that he saved Locke from the blast doors because he's "one of the good ones" (echoing "The Other 48 Days" episode, where the killed Other has a list of "good" stranded folk). In fact, as Gale says, coming for Locke was his entire reason for coming to them.

    Now, there are two things at play here- obviously this is something Locke wants to believe- Locke is like Fox Mulder from The X-Files. These are things that play into what Locke as deemed his destiny on the island, and the idea that this mysterious group of people "wants" him for some reason plays into that (and his "daddy complex"). So is Gale telling the truth? Or does he know that telling Locke this makes him infinitely more impressionable? That he's nearly completely recruited Locke in this fashion?

    From what we know of John Locke, this is not only going to be at the fore of his mind, it's going to inform nearly everything he does from here on out vis a vis the Others. It's why Locke didn't immediately tell everyone that Gale tried to kill Ana Lucia, and came perilously close to doing so. Ana goes for the lie because- like the lie she told about her rapist- it foregoes legitimate "justice" in favor of her doing it herself. For Locke's character and the coming "war," that's a huge, huge development in my eyes.

    Speaking of Ana Lucia, she had a pretty good-sized revelation in her backstory- that she not only knew Jack's father, she may have nailed him, and may be one of the last people to converse with him before he dies (along with, of course, Sawyer, who we see in a shot). To hide their anonymity, they invent names for each other as they jet to Australia- she calls him "Tom," and he calls her "Sarah"- Jack's ex-wife's name.

    This backstory seemed to function along similar lines as Shannon's- redemptive and full-circle enough to provide closure just before a death. Jack's father having an illegitimate child in Australia is intriguing- could it be Claire? Someone else we know? Doesn't seem like something they wouldn't take the opportunity to connect elsewhere. I still think Jack's dad's significance is pretty large, which remains to be seen.

    As always, the "scenes from next week" make the thought of a seven day wait seem interminable. The idea/ image of "their destinies in the hands of one man" was great. Michael coming out of nowhere to be a major player like this was such a great twist.

    It's going to a dynamite next three weeks, and that two hour season finale will likely be friggin epic.

    In addition to a great episode, this past week saw the further cultivation of the off-the-air mythology that is such a huge part of the appreciation, and likely, the popularity of the show. ABC posted a press release basically announcing the fact.

    In what's being hailed as the largest interactive challenge based on a TV series, ABC and 19 other networks stretching across five continents are introducing "Lost Experience" — an Internet game that will feature a parallel story line that will give insight into the top-rated show.

    The first clue will air on a May 3 episode, but network executives aren't saying how the game will launch or whether the critical clue will come during the broadcast or as part of a commercial break.

    The latter is in reference to the Hanso Foundation commercial, viewable at the Hanso Foundation website. The commercial featured a phone number- 1-877-HANSORG, which features a number of Hanso Foundation information (and theatrics, naturally) that act in conjunction with the "easter eggs" hidden on the Hanso Foundation website, which has been given a huge overhaul (I've linked to it in the past). This blog nicely encapsulates how to unlock the preliminary stuff there. Here's what I've got so far-

    1. Sign up for the newsletter. Type your name, then use "breaking strain" as the password.

    2. Go to send Joop a message. When images pop up, click on circles to prompt viewing of Hanso Foundation private files.

    3. "missing organs" can be used as a password/ login at various parts of the site (as a result of a code that pops up when you fool around with a "bug" in the WorldMap on the Hanso site).

    It's very cool stuff, but not yet directly linked to plots from the show.

    That being said- this is one of the genius parts of the show. The expansive, all inclusive creation of the "big idea" that is endlessly "rewarding."

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