Monday, May 22, 2006

LOST; the endgame approaches

OK, so I know I’ve been delinquent on my weekly LOST recap, but I went away for a few days and was without computer access. I am back now, albeit exhausted from my travels, but I will try and piece together a slapdash entry for last week’s LOST episode.

I had read in some foolish spoiler heavy magazine article that last week’s episode, “Three Minutes” would be driven by a Michael flashback. I was both pleased and relieved when I saw that (like Claire’s before him), his flashback centered on events that had taken place on the island, namely his time with The Others. As moving as I found the first episode that depicted his situation with Walt, by the second time round, things were feeling recycled, and I don’t think I could have sat through yet another rehashing of his attempts at trying to retain custody over his son.

I wasn’t really sold on the first fifteen minutes or so of the episode. They were showing a fair amount of footage from past episodes, and I was worried that it was going to be chock full of things we’d already seen. I did, however, like the way that the timeline was woven together, and that how, for instance, we learned that Michael was standing in the jungle with the Others when Kate was captured, and the Sea Billie had a standoff with Jack, Sawyer and Locke. Things started to get really interesting when Michael was brought to that strange beachside shanty town filled with filthy looking Others and slipshod tents. They shot Michael up with something right away, and I wonder if it was a drug that was meant to alter Michael’s psychological state, or if it was actually more of this “vaccine” business that’s been bandied about for two seasons now. Speaking of unmarked vials and syringes, what the heck was up with Charlie giving Claire that case filled with “medicine.” Though I think the fact that Charlie shot himself with the drug will surely play out in the future, I thought it was a bizarre mechanism to use as the thing that will win Charlie’s favor back with Claire. It was insane enough that Claire was grateful for it. Who in their right minds would shoot their baby up with an unknown substance. “Oh Gee Chahlie, thanks for this random chemical that might kill my baybee.” Her fears should not necessarily be allayed by the fact that Charlie claims he’s taken it without ill effect –that hardly counts as a proper medical trial. It harkens back to that muddled episode a couple months ago, where, convinced that her baby was “sick,” Claire sought out to find the “medicine” –I mean it’s all so ridiculous, and for now this plot line just annoys me.

When Michael was sitting on the beach and one of the Others mentioned a “her”, I half expected the French Woman to come out and expose herself as a traitor. Of course we all know by now, she didn’t, and instead a solemn looking woman, (did we even get a name for her?) emerged from the tent and started grilling Michael about Walt. The most terrifying and revealing moment in this episode came during the scene when Michael and the woman spoke in her tent at night. The degree of information that the Others have is startling, and I still haven’t cracked one good theory as to why they are interested in some survivors more than others. The woman bribed Michael and promised him that Walt would be returned to him if he set the artist formerly known as Henry Gale free, and bring back a few others from the camp. But what is the significance of the specific group comprised of Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley? Why not Sayid? (He’s physically fit and could pose a threat to them.) Why not Sun? (She’s pregnant.) There doesn’t seem to be any common denominator among the four that were chosen. There’s also the fact that the woman knew all of their full names. I guess it’s possible that Ethan had stolen the passenger manifest and passed on the survivors names to his cohorts, but here’s the other thing to consider. Clearly this woman, and the Others, must not only have the names of the survivor, but must know what they each look like –otherwise how would they know that anyone who came with Michael was not who they said they were. While discussing this phenomenon with a friend, he reminded me that in the episode “The Other 48 Days,” it had been revealed to Ana Lucia that there was some sort of list, and that the tail end survivors were somehow being systematically picked off by the Others, and not by random either. Could this relate back to the “good” and “bad” folk as well?

My question is, how is all this possible? There is some mighty big conspiracy going on here, but I’m not sure what it is. As I see it, there are only a couple possibilities. The first is that there are surveillance cameras on the island that have yet to be revealed (somewhere in the forest and the beach, etc.). It is possible that the Others could be using video surveillance cameras in the hatch –it occurred to me all the people the woman requested Michael to bring have spent significant time in the Hatch. However, this doesn’t explain how the Others knew which survivors they were capturing from the tail section group. All signs seem to lead back to the fact that The Others already knew who these passengers were before they even boarded the plane. It’s also apparent that the Others are much more high tech than they appear to be. I’m curious as to where their actual headquarters is. Is it in another hatch? Is it on another island? When Walt was brought into the tent, he said something along the lines of, “They’re not who they say they are” or “They’re not what they seem” so clearly the theory of the Others as some larger conspiracy has now been officially solidified. But if The Others really are just a bunch of scientists playing dress up, what’s the point? To play mind games with the survivors so they can observe their responses? I’m still holding out for the idea that some of the Others (such as Alex, Rousseau’s daughter, and maybe even Henry Gale) have been coerced into the group against their will.

On a brief aside, Sayid is the man. I love that he was the one that picked up that Michael was not acting himself. I can’t wait to see how this whole scenario plans out between Michael, the Others, and the survivors. There’s also the matter of the sail boat that comes to shore at the very end of the episode. My guess is that it’s going to be empty, but the survivors find some sort of momentous clue on there which tips them off to the bigger Others conspiracy.

I’m very much looking forward to the season finale of this show. Last year’s finale was terrific, and there’s a tremendous amount of hype that this finale is going to top it and more. I will say this though. I have a really funny feeling about the direction this show is going in. I smell some sort of multi-national corporate scam, and more and more I feel that all the survivors are connected by some piece of history shared by their parents/ancestors. I really hope it doesn’t turn out to be just a geo-political conspiracy though. Last week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly had the LOST cast members on the cover and did a huge expose on the show. They mentioned a common rumor in the feature article that the head exec over at ABC discourages the writers from playing up the sci-fi elements in the show. If it is true, it’s a pretty odd thing to do, considering that the show draws pretty heavily from the science fiction genre. I’ve always been more interested in the episodes that incorporate the mysterious and fantastical over those that played more like an hour of straight drama. I am dying to know how all this Hanso Foundation and Dharma Initiative stuff ties up, I just hope these boys can pull it off.


Anonymous The Rodenator said...

Thanks for finally posting New Yorker. I am starting to really look forward to these discussions. I've already had a few conversations with Coen Bros., so some of the things I mentioned might be stuff that he came up with.

The solemn woman who spoke to Michael is named Ms. Klugh (pronounced Clue, my girlfriend insists on cc that's where I got the spelling.)

I find it oddly convenient that the people Michael is supposed to return with are the people that were at the Hatch right after he got there. Granted they spend a lot of time there, so they could be observed a lot by the Others if they have access to that viewing station. As you mention New Yorker, they must have some way of getting info on the survivors. I guess Klugh coudn't ask for Michael to bring Locke as his broken leg really hinders his chance of getting across the island. No offense to the heavyset, but Hurley is a detriment to any trip across the island as well. Michael's insistence that he be brought along and not someone more formidable, like Sayid, is very suspicious. I don't know why Jack hasn't picked up on it.

What was up with Hurley's initial reluctance to go?

Also has Kate heard Michael's description of the others and realized that it doesn't really jibe with her finding those disguises? Did she ever put two and two together with those disguises she found?

Coen bros. and I got into a discussion over exactly what Michael's instructions were. Was he given anymore information off screen? Was he given a timeline? Wouldn't there have been an easier way to free Gale without killing Ana Lucia?

The Others are certainly goingn to great lengths to appear primitive. I mean the Sea Billie (love the term) trained in using that pre-historic hunting tool that he used to take down Michael.

Did Charlie use that one needle on himself? Should Claire have Aaron share needles with a heroin addict?

I believe the Others do have some sort of pre-knowledge of those on the flight. They are very interested in Walt's ablities. I think they are some group of scientists who study the paranormal.

Was that young girl referred to as Alex before? Is this Rousseau's child of the same name then? If she was abducted so young, why did the Others keep referring to her by that name? Coen Bros. also pointed out that she should be the biggest believer in what the Others do as she was raised by them. Maybe they have treated her poorly and put her through odd tests similar to the ones Walt must do. Maybe she has some innate ideals that don't jibe with the Others' work.

Why are the survivors so trusting of Michael? The replaying of earlier episodes scenes in this last episode remind me that he conked Locke out and locked him and Jack up to get the guns.

I didn't like Charlie throwing out all the heroin. Granted he wants to free himself from temptation, but my girlfriend did point out it was a very selfish move on his part.

I am looking forward to this season finale. Odd how they are supposed to answer questions about the crash, becuase I am most interested in the Others. Odd how I have totally forgotten about the jungle monster.

11:36 PM  
Blogger DoorFrame said...

The hunting tool was/were Bolas.

6:33 AM  
Blogger The Coen Bros. said...

How does anyone on this show with an iota of an IQ believe a word Michael says? He was so damn overt. Why was Jack even questioning what Sayid said about Michael? Isn't it obvious that he is compromised. And why oh why did Michael have to murder two people in cold blood (okay, one was an accident). Why couldn't he have told them what the Others wanted. They want Gail and you four for my son. Jack was going to trade Gail anyway. Still, me like show even if it is filled with these kind of flaws.

7:52 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

You know, I didn't even think about the fact that the people he is bringing back were in the hatch already. Is it just another odd coincidence or is there something more to it. Of coure there is not way Mr. Klugh (thanks for the name, rodenator) could have known who would be in the hatch after Michael shot Ana Lucia or Libby. Or could she have? Is there some way for her to look into the future? I do think it would be cool if the Others could look into the future. Or maybe they even have a time machine! I always like it when time travel can be worked into things.

But as for not asking Locke, I don't think it has to do with his leg. Surely the Others are more than aware of the strange healing powers of the island, and would have known that Locke was going to be just fine. We did after all watch him cast aside his splint at the end of last week's episode. Also, as you point out, Hurley would probably be slower than Locke.

I also think its ridiculous that Kate has never said A WORD to anyone about the disguises she found in the medical hatch. I mean, come on that is huge.

You are onto something with your theory of the Others knowing about the flight and wanting Walt, but would it really be necessary for them to crash an entire airplane just to get Walt on it. Clearly they want the other survivors too, but I can't figure out exactly why.

I too, thought it was selfish of Charlie to throw out the remaining heroine as it could have medicinal uses, as was shown by Libby's death.

You also bring up a good point about Alex, why do they call her that is they snatched her as a baby? LOL. It makes absolutely no sense. It's also a stretch she would be a hestiant participant, if it was all she knew, though she might have been treated poorly or experiemented on.

Michael was overt.

10:52 AM  
Blogger DoorFrame said...

I doubt that Charlie was aware of the medical uses for heroine when he was throwing it away... that being said I'm tired to death of that plotline and was glad to see the statutes hurled into the ocean. With my luck, though, I'm sure the new-found boat is going to be CHOCK-FULL of heroine... bow to stern, nothing but heroine.

I'm also sick of Michael's "I've got to get my son back" mantra... I've had enough. Just saying it over and over against doesn't make it compelling.

I like the bigger themes of the series, not the minor character struggles. I'm hoping that we get more from this year's conclusion than last year's. I'm surprised that you liked it... we spent the whole year waiting to find out what was in the hatch... and... AND... wait one more year.

Hopefully this season will end with new questions AND answers to old questions... that was sorely missing from last year's conclusion.

1:41 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

It was frustrating not to see what was in the Hatch, but at the same time a lot was going on. The flashbacks that Claire had with Rousseau, the Others coming, the launching of the raft. And the ending with Walt getting snatched was insane. Even better though I think was the season opener this year, before the storylines took a bit of a nose dive...

1:44 PM  
Anonymous The Rodenator said...

Hey New Yorker,
I was reading your post to my girlfriend and she pointed out that they didn't shoot Michael up with anything, but rather took his blood.

4:11 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Oh really? I can't remember, I could have sworn it was a shot, but nonetheless, and interesting idea. I wonder if they took the blood to test if Michael was really Walt's father, or if there were other motives...

4:15 PM  
Blogger DoorFrame said...

I assumed they were testing for whatever the "vaccine" protects against... or prevents.

They definitely took blood, though.

7:40 PM  

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