Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fun online reviews of Lost Finale
The inimitable Doc Jensen at Entertainment Weekly has posted his follow-up article (after spending a week thinking about the finale) and it's pretty funny. (My fave part is calling Christian "Daddy Drinksalot.") He poses his always-wacky theories, which in the Lostverse, ain't necessarily so wacky. This is a review by a rabid crazy fan. (A man after my own heart.)

In the middle of the spectrum, on BuddyTV a casual fan has posted his response. This isn't someone who belongs to groups or reads blogs or looks up religious meanings, he just watches his show, enjoys it, and moves on. His post is actually very funny.

I'm still looking for a review that hated it, but can't find one. It must exist. However, what DOES exist are all the naysayers saying, "Yeah, the finale was great. Too bad the rest of the season sucked." Or, "I don't watch Lost, and don't feel bad about not watching Lost." Rob Salem of the Toronto Star had an article last week where he boasted, "I myself gave up on the thing right after that unforgivably lame first-season finale back in 2005. But I am assured by more faithful friends who have loyally stuck with it that, after a season-and-a-half of inconsistent mediocrity, Lost is finally back on track and on its way to reclaiming its former first-season glory."

I think he's watching a different show than I am; I loved that first-season finale. But whatever... only the COOL people hate Lost, right?

However, what's pretty EASY to find are people who hated the Heroes finale. Nyar nyar... (no, I just don't let it go). So here's another one.

Hey look, it's me!

Sorry about sticking my mug here. My profile pic has disappeared and stupid Blogger won't let me just grab one from my desktop. So I have to have it hosted online somewhere, and where better than on my actual blog. Don't worry, in a week it'll be off the main page... ;)
LOST Fans Forced to Wait? Shocker.
It was announced yesterday that the Lost Season 3 DVDs will be released on December 11th, and not early September as was the case with seasons 1 and 2. I'm assuming this is due to the show's February start date, and hey, why have two powerful marketing pushes when you could lump it all into one? Who needs those extra three months of sales?

Here's what doesn't make sense to me: The Lost DVDs have always sold well at Christmas. But they also come out of the gate in September and are usually the highest-selling television DVDs on the market. Problem? I'm sure many of you out there know a lot of people who say, "I'll just wait for the DVDs" and they get them in early September, but just can't find the time to bomb through 23 episodes in two weeks before the new season starts. So what happens? They watch it, love it, try to avoid spoilers all year, and then get the DVDs the following season. And in the meantime, the networks and show's production people gripe about how their viewership is down.

Hm... I wonder how that could be remedied. Hey, I've got an idea! What if instead of starting the show in September, they push it off to February. Then they release the DVDs in, say, late October, but not only catch up the people just trying to watch season 3, build a marketing campaign to pull in NEW viewers of the series. Offer the 3 box sets for a special price. Offer the first two seasons at a deep discount. Then build on that hype for the three months leading up to the show. Suddenly new people have a chance to get completely caught up, long-time fans get to brush up on their season 3 and enjoy the extras, and everyone's happy.

But oh... I guess the problem there is starting the show in February, eh? Because the rest of it just makes sense, but that February start date would be a toughie...

Sigh.

Sometimes I just don't know what the marketing people are thinking. Instead, they'll release it December 11. People won't necessarily buy it the way they would in September; they'll wait to get it as a Christmas gift. So the sales WILL happen, but as gifts (instead of nabbing all the people who would have bought it anyway in September, and then cashing in on all the gifts in December). DVDs are given at the end of December, then people can only crack them open early January after the craziness of year-end is over, and they probably don't find the time to watch the entire season in the 3 weeks leading up to the show, and boom. The networks are whining that their ratings didn't go up for season 4 because people weren't able to catch on to the show.

Oh well. If it helps, some of the special features have been announced:
The 23-episode, seven-disc set comes with a one-on-one with star Matthew Fox, a featurette on "The Others," a documentary chronicling 24 hours in production and a selection of never-before-seen flashbacks. Also included are behind-the-scenes looks at 10 episodes, audio commentaries, deleted scenes and bloopers.



In the meantime, the season 1 Heroes box set is due to be released on August 28th, so fans will have something to hold them over. There are tons of extras on it, and it includes fifty extended and deleted scenes. Wow.



Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Finally!! ALL THE ANSWERS TO LOST!!
Ha. You didn't really believe me, did you? Well, if you've ever thought the writers were reticent about giving up any answers... Damon Lindelof has announced a complete "radio silence" from this point on. No spoilers, no interviews, no nuthin. He ain't givin' up anything. Apparently he's pretty upset about what they're referring to as "Spoilergate," i.e. spoilers about the flash-forward in the season finale being leaked all over the place. The thing is, the guy apparently was never part of the Buffyverse. Entire scripts of that show leaked before the episode aired, and I remember fans arguing about the episode before it had even aired. Now THOSE were spoilers.

I'm a spoiler-free kinda gal. It doesn't always do me good (when I have to hand a book in by mid-June, and the finale is end of May, it would REALLY help me if I checked out spoilers ahead of time... but I don't.) But I'm also happy with the slow pace of Lost and the fact the writers aren't showing all their cards too early, so perhaps those two attitudes go hand-in-hand. Some of my dearest friends are spoiler whores (oh, you know who you are, RB) but they also know not to talk about it in front of me. I've never understood why anyone would want to know what's going to happen before it happens, but it's probably just human curiosity. As Damon said in the interview:

I think there will always be people who want to turn to the last page of the book, but I feel that those people are almost universally disappointed with what they read there, because if it's cool, they don't understand the context, and if it sucks, they feel like they've saved themselves time. But no one skips to the end of life. You have to live it, and it's just disappointing to me that people don't respect the integrity of the show enough to let it unfold naturally. There is a fine line between intriguing the audience with what's to come and giving them the whole shebang. And I feel the line was crossed with the finale this year, and it's really disappointing.


In the rest of the interview with Kristen Veitch on E!, Damon agrees to answer her questions, but she gives him the option of "Hell no, I won't tell you!" as a response. He uses that one a lot. (And I love him for it.) The biggest revelation of the interview? Alex is NOT Ben's biological daughter, something I've been saying all along. It appears Rousseau was telling the truth (or at least... that's what Damon's saying this week.)

Check out the interview, and in the meantime, I'm curious: How many Lost fans out there knew how the finale was going to end? Who checked out the spoiler boards, and why?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Why I Love Michael Emerson, Part 289
If you haven't checked this out yet, head over to Best Week Ever and watch their interview with Michael Emerson, er, Ben. He does the entire interview in character, answering all questions with other questions, denying what's right in front of her. It's hysterical. (Thanks for the link, Chapatikid!)

NY Mag recently caught up to Emerson and asked him questions about the finale. I'd read several interviews with Emerson leading up to the finale where he said he didn't know how it was going to end (they only gave the final scene of script to Evangeline and Matthew, and the rest of the cast was kept in the dark), so knowing that, they asked him what his reaction was when he saw it:

Now that the finale has aired, do you have any freaking clue what’s going to happen when you start shooting again?
No, because I didn't know what the end of the episode was until I watched it. That was a secret scene with Jack and Kate — only Matthew [Fox] and Evangeline [Lilly] were given that text and it was shot in secret. I had to wait until last night to have this earth-shattering revelation: Now not only are we going to live in the present and the past, but also the future. And the little things they dropped made my hair stand on end!
[note from Nikki: Isn't his hair ALWAYS standing on end?]

Like what?
Kate and Jack got off the island somehow, but other castaways didn’t, and they’re sick about it. And who’s in the coffin? And who is Kate living with?

Sawyer?
Or is he dead or on the island?

Do you have sympathy for Ben's character?
I have full sympathy. I believe he has a mission and an agenda that he hasn’t shared with us yet. The survival of the earth may depend on Ben’s work, so it justifies his ruthless behavior. Maybe I’m just fantasizing or deluding myself.

Is Naomi, the British woman who parachuted from above, really bad news?
She’s a messenger from the dark side. I think we can take Ben at his word. Whoever is on the boat that they just called mean them no good. As soon as we’re in season four, I think we’re gonna discover that everyone is in deep trouble.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lost Marathon
I've just finished watching episode 14 of my Lost marathon, which began yesterday morning (I took a break in the afternoon) so I can finish the episode guide for my upcoming season 3 book. (Yes, I know Juliet and Hurley are missing from the cover, and that will be rectified.) I'm watching these episodes completely differently now that we've seen both the finale and the Ben flashback, both which illuminated so much. I'd already seen every episode 3 or 4 times, but so much changes when you know where the writers are headed with something. Locke's behaviour, which was so strange mid-season, is now making a little more sense.

But one thing that struck me particularly was the early Locke episode, "Further Instructions." At the beginning of the ep, he can't speak. He creates a sweat lodge for himself, and Boone appears to him, taking him to a vision of being in the airport, where Hurley is a ticket agent, Desmond a pilot, Ben a security guard, etc. The thing that hit me, though, is the image at the end of the scene. Locke is suddenly sitting at the bottom of the escalators, with Boone at the top. The scene is clearly meant to evoke Jacob's ladder -- when Jacob was in the wilderness, he awoke in the night to see a ladder of angels leading up to Heaven, and realized he was sitting at the gates of Heaven. But now that we've seen Jacob, and there's been much speculation about who was sitting in that chair (see the screen caps and speculation here), I'm wondering if it really could be Locke. It's one of the possibilities we suggested, and now that we see him in the actual position of Jacob, it makes it stronger.
I've got a lot more to say, and I will, but on to episode 15...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lost, Ep 22: Updates

Go here to read another interview with Dominic Monaghan (TV Guide).

Dominic was also interviewed by Dan Snierson at EW.

IGN review of the show -- he hated it. Okay, just kidding. (If anyone does find an article by someone who disliked it, please send it along.)

BuddyTV is reporting that the Lost season finale scored ratings in excess of two to three million more than usual, and put a little crimp in American Idol's numbers. (yeeeaahhhh!!!)

Lost has been applauded for its portrayal of Muslim characters.

AP review of the finale.

MSNBC review of the finale. (I'm a little annoyed that everyone used the awesomeness of the finale to suggest the rest of the season was boring and pointless. I think they were watching a different show than the one I tuned in to every week.)

In our ongoing deciphering of Ben's journal, the best guess so far has been the following (you can go here to compare to the original diary entry):

AN IMPORTANT MEETING TONIGHT WITH(_) AND (M) REGARDING THE DEVELOPING SITUATION.WE ARE NOW IN DAY 3 OF OUR EXODUS FROMTHE VILLAGE AND I AM, I FEAR, AT THE LIMITOF MY TACTICAL RESOURCES. (J)'s AGENDA,WHICH I DON'T QUESTION, IS HOWEVER A NARROWAND DIFFICULT ONE AND I COULD WELL WISHWE'D HAD TIME TO PREPARE, NOT MERELYFOR THE MILITARY STRIKE, BUT FOR A _______CAMPAIGN IN THE BUSH. WE ARE SHORT ONPROVISIONS (SEASONAL) AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY,THE LONG-AWAITED RE-SUPPLY OF CAMP GEARHAVING BEEN MISSED (AND SO NARROWLY!) ANDJUST AS OUR WATER SUPPLY ROUTES HAVE BEENCUT OFF. WE LOOK LIKE A SAD SORT OFANARCHIST ARMY. MORALE, I HAVE TO SAY, ISAS LOW AS THE ___________ _____ _____YET, FOR ALL THAT, I FEEL APPREHENSIVE

So far I still have no confirmation on the John Lantham obit transcription that someone sent me, so it was either someone taking their best shot at filling in the blanks, or someone from the show throwing us a bone. :) I'd like to think it was the latter, but you never know. Again, the latest version of that is:

"The body of John Lantham of New York was found shortly after 4 am in the 4300 block of Grand Avenue. Ted Worden, a doorman at the Tower Lofts complex, heard loud noises coming from the victim's loft. Concerned for tenants' safety, he entered the loft and found the body hanging from a beam in the living room. According to Jaime Ortiz, a police spokesman, the incident was deemed a suicide after medical tests. Latham (sic) is survived by one teenaged son. Memorial services will be held at the Hoffs-Drawlar Funeral Home tomorrow evening."

Have I missed something major? If so, please send me the link! :)
LOST Haiku
My pal Crissy and I have been exchanging emails all day doing Lost haikus (we’re pretending to be working). We were having way too much fun doing it, and I thought hey, I bet some other people have some great haikus in them, so I’ll post our efforts, and then I look forward to seeing yours! You can leave them in the comments section, and I’ll compile and put them in a separate post later. As long as you have 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables, you can do whatever you want. We were focusing on the characters, making each other guess who we were writing about, but you can write about whatever you want, as long as it’s Lost-related. Have fun! ;)


“Because I hadn’t
Decided what to do yet.”
What a god complex.

One kidney short, but
Don’t tell me what I can’t do —
Unless you’re Jacob.

Squished a small tree frog
And killed three men in cold blood.
Yeah. But he’s still hot.

A hatch for a tomb:
Sings “You All Ev’rybody”
While Mikhail goes boom

Sexy Scottish man.
“You’re gonna die, Chah-lay.” Uh...
Go away, Bruthuh.

Who she did now more
Important than what she did:
Quadrangle of Love.

His head is like a
Watermelon. Huge and round.
Giant island babe.

Stop calling him fat
Or he’ll Dharma-van you down.
Dude makes his own luck.

Don’t you understand?
I’m speaking perfectly here.
’Cept... in Korean.

Farewell dear Other,
You were so friendly, mister
And a little gay.

I arrived in a
Balloon. No, I was born here.
Oh. I lied again.
Lost in the NY Post
I was interviewed for the NY Post yesterday, and I assumed it would be the same as past print interviews -- I talk for 10 minutes to give the journalist background info they need, and then they print a couple of words that I said. But happily, I checked it out this morning and that wasn't the case at all! In fact, most of the article's quotes are from me, which was awesome! The reporter who talked to me kept pushing me throughout the interview and playing devil's advocate (and he's a Lost fan), which was a great way to make me keep defending my position over and over again.

And I just wanted to say a quick thank-you to all of the readers of this blog; I had my biggest day ever traffic-wise (and comments-wise!) yesterday, and today is shaping up to be even bigger. Thanks for taking the time to leave comments and read everything, and I hope you keep coming back over the summer! I have LOTS more to say about Lost (and Buffy, and Sopranos and Entourage and everything else that will keep me busy this summer). This weekend: I'm doing a full season Lost marathon. Gulp.

You can go directly to the article here on the NY Post site. Here it is:

PEEK SHOW
By DON KAPLAN

May 25, 2007 -- 'LOST" may not be so lost after all.
The ABC drama was derided all season long as losing its way with its increasingly confusing plot and long mid-season hiatus. It turned a corner during its season finale Wednesday, fans say.
"I saw the finale as a turning point away from the past," says Nikki Stafford, the author of "Finding 'Lost': The Unofficial Guide."
"Of course it didn't really give us a lot answers," she says. "But what it did, at least for me, was provide pure entertainment. By the end of it, I wasn't feeling gypped that I didn't get the answers. I was feeling 'Wow, that was such a great two hours that I forgot that there were even questions. I just enjoyed it for what it was."
Stafford believes that between good word-of-mouth from the finale, DVDs and ABC scheduling, an uninterrupted run next season should be enough to bring viewers back to "Lost."
"I think more people are going to jump on board," she says.
Since its debut in 2005, "Lost" has lost about half of its audience. Many viewers have complained that the show provides no resolutions to its increasingly complicated plot. Others have been turned off by its repeats and twomonth hiatus from ABC this season.
On the finale, producers appeared to have traded in their usual practice of using flashbacks to tell the back-stories of how various characters arrived on the mysterious island for a flash forward. The final moments of the episode revealed that Jack (Matthew Fox) appeared to be on the verge of a mental breakdown after being rescued.
"The back-stories have been told," Stafford says. "We get it and [producers] know that we get it so now it looks like they're going to start looking at the future: 'This is what could happen, let's lead them in that direction.' "
Also during the finale, yet another favorite character was killed off. This time it was Charlie (Dominic Monaghan), who gave his life to prevent a disaster. Charlie, aware of his impending death, as foretold by another character, was able to pick his moment and take fate into his hands.
"Charlie's always just wanted to have a purpose, and do something," Monaghan told E! Online. "To have achieved that is an amazing thing. . . to have sacrificed himself for the rest of the people on the island is a great way to go out."
It's a theme that Stafford believes will be prevalent for the final three seasons of the show.
"The cohesiveness of all three seasons is the idea of fate versus the notion that our decisions can alter things," she says. "I'm still not convinced that future flash-forward that we saw is something that's written in stone."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lost, Ep 22: More Thoughts
I've done a few interviews today, and the questions the interviewers have been asking have made me think a lot more about this episode. Several people asked me if I was saddened by Jack's fate, but as I've been saying all day, I really don't think what we saw was his necessary future.


This show has been consistent for three seasons in that everything comes down to science vs. faith; choice vs. fate. Are we fated to do certain things, or can our choices change our futures? In "Flashes Before Your Eyes," Ms. Hawking tells Desmond that he's not supposed to marry Penelope. From the point forward, Desmond continually tells Charlie that he's supposed to die. In last night's episode at the very end, Locke tells Jack he's not supposed to do this. It's like these characters have some vision of the future, and they know how these characters are supposed to spend the rest of their lives, and they believe they're fated to it.


Desmond said Charlie was supposed to die, but he was supposed to die drowning to save Claire; being electrocuted by lightning; falling when trying to catch a bird; an arrow through his neck... these things were what he was fated to do. But Desmond changed that fate by stepping in the way and making a choice to change the future. Yes, Charlie still died, but in doing so, he believes his death has a purpose. Would being shot through the neck by an arrow have served the same purpose?


Locke believes in faith and fate. We've seen him struggle with shooting or killing several people, and no matter how evil Cooper is, no matter how many times Jack pushes all the buttons on Locke, he just can't bring himself to do it. Yet he killed Naomi without a second thought. He believed he was supposed to do it, that he had to stop her, and he didn't hesitate.



Jack, on the other hand, scoffs at those who believe in fate. His dad's old saying, "That's why the Red Sox will never win the Series," was his idea of fate in a nutshell, and Jack's always hated the fact his dad chalked things up to fate. He believes that chalking things up to fate is a lazy man's way of not accepting responsibility for one's actions, and blaming it on the stars instead.


This show is about the constant battle between the two ideas, and we'll continue to see that battle in upcoming seasons. I believe the flash-forwards will be the new way Lost will be presented (with the occasional flashback from people like Ben or anyone new) but what we see in those flash-forwards won't necessarily be set in stone. I don't think Jack will necessarily end up miserable, wasted, and alone. If he makes different choices on the island, maybe his future can change. Time will tell, but there's a good chance we're going to see a very different flash-forward in the coming seasons for Jack.


Critics today have been loving last night's episode as much as we have. Here are some links to other posts:

Jeff Jensen at Entertainment Weekly
Matt Roush at TV Guide


E! interview with Damon Lindelof
E! interview with Dominic


Of course, the praise goes far beyond those, but this will get you started. I've yet to see any serious naysaying going on, which is great.


For everyone saying the proof of the flash-forward was at the very beginning of the episode, you were right:






Jack's phone wasn't officially released until October 2006, so it's about six months old in this flashback, which takes place in April 2007.

Ben's diary, which we see him writing in at the beginning, has been mostly deciphered by brilliant Lost fans (or, at least, one page has):


Click here to read.

And finally, someone posted here in the comment section of my post below that the full text of the obit is:

"The body of John Lantham of New York was found shortly after 4 am in the 4300 block of Grand Avenue. Ted Worden, a doorman at the Tower Lofts complex, heard loud noises coming from the victim's loft. Concerned for tenants' safety, he entered the loft and found the body hanging from a beam in the living room. According to Jaime Ortiz, a police spokesman, the incident was deemed a suicide after medical tests. Latham (sic) is survived by one teenaged son. Memorial services will be held at the Hoffs-Drawlar Funeral Home tomorrow evening."

I can't vouch for the accuracy, so I'll leave it up to you to decide. :)

Lost, Ep 22: The Newspaper Obituary
Here's a screen cap of the newspaper obit that Jack was holding. It's the clearest image I could find:


Here's what I can make out:

Man Found Dead in Downtown Loft
The body of Jo.... antham of
New York was... shortly after 4
a.m. in the ... of Grand
Avenue.
Ted... doorman at The
Tower... heard loud
noises... 's loft.
Coo.... [Concerned?]
....discovered the
... [hanging?] from a beam in the
...
...cord.....
[rest is unreadable]

It appears to be a suicide, and by a Jo (John?) anthem (Lantham?) Maybe Locke changes his name? Maybe Locke changes his name on the island, then Sawyer takes that name and lives under the alias in LA. ;) Or maybe it's someone completely new.
Go here to see the full-screen crisp version, since I know this will shrink on my site when I publish it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lost, Ep 22: Through the Looking Glass

Wow.

Attention Tim Kring: Now THAT is how you pull off a season finale.

We went into this week’s episode with Charlie stuck in an underwater hatch; Desmond unconscious on a boat; some of the Others on their way over to the beach to take away the women; Ben shouting orders from his little campsite in the jungle; Locke lying in a pile of bodies with a gunshot wound in his stomach; Sayid, Bernard, and Jin on the beach as the three shooters; and the rest of the Losties (plus Juliet) heading to the radio tower with Rousseau.

This episode didn’t really give us any new answers (I know… shocker), but then again, maybe it did. The strange thing is, yes, there’s a huge surprise ending, yet when the very first flashback occurred, I immediately thought, “Wait… is this a flash-forward?” I had peeked at the episode at 6pm and watched the first five minutes, and then said to my husband that it was a really weird flashback, and we haven’t seen Jack looking like that before, so I wonder if instead, it’s a depiction of the future. But then as the episode went on, and references were made to Jack’s father again, I thought no, it couldn’t be.

And then it was.

If you think about it, here are the major flashbacks we’ve seen:
-Charlie had issues with his brother, with heroin, and with being in a band. That flashback has been pretty much carried out, and there’s very little left to discover. He refers to himself as a flash-in-the-pan now, he’s off the heroin, and the memories that remain of his brother are good ones now.
-Locke’s major issue that dogged him in ALL of his flashbacks was his father, and the resentment and anger that left him with. Cooper’s dead now, so what more is there to mine from the flashbacks?
-Sawyer’s past was entirely caught up in killing Sawyer. He’s done that.
-Kate’s past is about what she did, which we now know, how her mother reacted, and this season she finally realized that maybe she really didn’t act out of selflessness, and she’s stopped running.
-Claire’s background was all about her becoming a mother, and this season we discovered the difficult relationship she had with her own mother, but she seems to have it all together now, and she’s a good mother herself.
-Sun and Jin’s past was all about his ties to her father, her possible affair with Jae Lee, her pregnancy, and what secrets they kept. Now we know she DID have an affair with Jae Lee, she did NOT get pregnant by him, she knew exactly what Jin was up to, and she kept a lot of secrets from him.
-Hurley’s past was all about his incarceration in a mental hospital, his obsession with the lottery numbers being a curse, and his difficult relationship with his father. We’ve seen all of it play out and we know exactly why he stepped onto that plane.
-Sayid’s past is about his life as a torturer, and while there are still many details missing – who his father was and why his father’s life dogs his; what happened to Nadia; what he did in Basra – we know how it affected him and why he’s attempted to stop. Of all of the flashbacks, Sayid’s feels like the least played-out, and I still have many questions about it.
-Desmond has always run away from relationships, but after being stuck on the island for 3 years he realizes he really can commit to Penny, and wants to.
-Jack had a difficult relationship with his father, he “fixed” Sarah, got married to her, divorced from her, fell off the deep end, went to Thailand, came back, finally revealed his father for what he was, his father basically drank himself to death, and Jack went to retrieve the body. We’ve seen most of his backstory and what’s far more intriguing about him is what’s going on in his head now, not back then.

So where does that leave us? We don’t really need to see these people in junior kindergarten, or find out what OTHER issues they have. Sayid is the only one with outstanding issues that I’d like to see, but otherwise it seems we’ve seen pretty much everything we’re going to see. I believe tonight’s flash-forward is a sign of things to come. Imagine: the idea of having 48 more episodes that show what’s going to happen in the FUTURE not only plays into that whole idea of time travel and jumping through time that has been a major theme of the series, but we also see what will happen to these people later, rather than the traditional television show that ends and we can only speculate and imagine what happened to our favourite characters afterward. (Will Veronica end up at the FBI? Will Buffy ever find true happiness and peace? Will Spike and Angel die in that battle?) Instead, Lost will show us what will happen to them in the far-off future, and now we get the enjoyment of watching the present catch up to the future, rather than how the past has affected the present. It’s BRILLIANT.

Of course, I think we could still have flashbacks, but those would involve the Others, who seem to live in a different time zone, not aging and stuff… We still need to know a helluva lot more about Ben, I’m dying for a Rousseau flashback, and I’m sure we have some other people who will be introduced.

The key is in the title: Through the Looking Glass. In the Lewis Carroll book, when Alice steps through the looking-glass, she enters a world where everything is backwards, the opposite of the way it should be. So it stands to reason that things will be the opposite now, moving forward instead of looking back.

I’ve often wondered throughout the series why certain characters even want to get off the island. Kate’s on the run from the law. Sawyer has absolutely no ties, except maybe a daughter somewhere. Jack’s mother likely blames him for what happened to his father, he’s lost his wife, his dad is dead, and his job is hanging in the balance. Locke hates his parents, would probably lose his ability to walk again, and was miserable. Rose had cancer. Sun and Jin would have to be on the run from Paik. Hurley could still be cursed. Sayid believes Nadia is dead, but she’s not, so he could go either way.

Who would benefit from rescue? Charlie was a heroin addict who had alienated everyone, but there’s likely a chance he could make a go of things now that he’s off the stuff. Claire would have a MUCH easier time of raising Aaron with more baby things around. Desmond could be reunited with Penny (and they just have to deal with Widmore). Maybe Hurley’s broken the curse after all.

One thing’s for certain: Being rescued certainly wasn’t the answer some of them were looking for. Jack turned into his father after the rescue, bumbling around the hospital, insisting on doing surgery when he’s actually incapable of doing it, being humiliated by the new chief of staff…

Deaths:
Tom: one of my favourite Others.
Ryan: one of my least-favourite Others, so, yay.
8 other Others
Gretta: the girl in the underground Hatch. Ah, we barely knew ye. So much for all that speculation about her being Annie.
Mikhail: By a speargun. OOH! Oh wait, no, by a grenade… er… did he die? Can he NOT die?

Charlie. :::sniff::: I cried. They killed him off the way he should have been – he was a hero, he made a self-sacrifice, and he was wonderful. THIS was the Charlie I knew and loved in season 1. Why do they always make me love them before they kill them? I’m seriously sad about this.

Highlights:
-Charlie telling the girls underwater that he came in his invisible submarine.
-Rose: “If you say ‘live together, die alone’, Jack, I’m going to punch you in the face.”
-Charlie singing “You All Everybody” in the falsetto to throw off the Looking-Glass girls
-The discussion between Juliet and Sawyer. “We’re building a runway… for the aliens.”
Sawyer: So, you screwin’ Jack yet?Juliet: No, are you?
HA!
-Hurley. I was so sad when Sawyer refused to let him come with them, because just like last week, he blamed it on Hurley’s weight. And then Hurley comes flying out of the jungle in the VW. WOOHOO!! He’s a hero!! Turns out that Hurley ep that we thought was standalone has actually come back a few times.
-Jack listening to “Scentless Apprentice” at a loud volume in his car. Brought back memories of how I used to drive to university. I totally need to listen to that CD again.
-Charlie convincing Bonnie: “You have the opportunity to make Ben very angry. Why would you not take that?”
-Rousseau and Alex being reunited. ::::sob:::: Their first act together: tying Ben to a tree. Was there ever a lovelier mother/daughter reunion?
-Sayid breaking the guy’s neck. Yeeowch! No wonder CTV had such a stern disclaimer on this episode.
-Hurley’s transmission: “Attention Others! Come in Others!” hahahaha. “Dude, I saved ‘em all.”

Did You Notice:
-the trekking music in this ep was used in season 1, second episode, when Charlie, Sawyer, Sayid, Kate, etc. walked to high ground to find a signal for their radio, and it was used again at the beginning of season 2 when the Tailies were trekking across the island over to the Losties’ beach.
-Ben keeps a journal. Someone needs to get their hands on THAT.
-Guess Jin WASN’T the ideal third shooter. That said, it’s a little unbelievable that with the dynamite being as unstable as it is, that a gunshot even close to the dynamite wouldn’t have set it off.
-Sarah was pregnant when she came to see Jack (Julie Bowen was pregnant when they filmed it; she’s since had her child)
-FINALLY they show that Cooper’s death has had an effect on Sawyer. I was getting a little worried that he seemed to just brush it off.
-When Desmond hides in the locker, he looks like he’s in a confessional
-Mikhail says he thought the Looking-Glass women were on assignment in Canada. HA! They always refer to Canada when talking about anything evil. I love it. :)
-Malcolm David Kelley’s voice is changing, even though he’s still supposed to be 12. D’oh… the island keeps Richard young, and ages Walt more quickly. :) By the time the series ends, the actor will be 19.
-Rousseau says she won’t go back with them, like she knows better and unlike Jack and the rest of them, has actually considered the true implications of what returning to the real world would be.
-Ben says Naomi is “one of the bad guys,” which echoes what he said in the season 2 finale, “We’re the good guys, Jack.”
-Ben predicted how Jack’s life would turn out off the island, when he told him he had nothing to get back to
-Jin, Sayid, and Bernard were the ones widely speculated to be killed off in the finale, so it’s like the writers were totally screwing with us.
-Ben’s tied to a tree in much the same way Cooper was tied to the pillar.
-Locke still can’t kill someone, even when pushed to the limit
-in the final flashback, Jack had several maps all over the floor and on the wall, like he’s been trying to find the island again to go back

Questions:
-Whose death did Jack read about in the paper? He was seriously upset about it in the car. I thought maybe Locke, but they had a hate/hate relationship. Sawyer? It had to be someone who would have lived in L.A. and no one would attend the funeral, so that still points to Locke or Sawyer. Or maybe someone likeable like Hurley or Claire, who came back, fell apart like Jack did, and committed suicide, alienating all their friends. (If whoever it was died in a bad way, it would upset Jack because he would feel responsible.) Juliet, maybe? At the funeral home, the guy says, “Friend or family?” and Jack says, “Neither.” So it could be Locke. Or Sawyer. Maybe Sawyer, since it appears Locke will refuse to leave the island.
-Why did Sarah bother coming to see Jack in the hospital?? She just seems to stand there, then refuses to give him a ride home, saying it was “inappropriate” (he’s your ex-husband, and needs a ride, don’t you care about him even as a human being?)
-Korean Translation question: What does Jin say in Korean when Ryan cocks the gun at him?
-What did Ben mean when he told Richard he could take the people to the Temple? What Temple?
-when Kate said she could be pregnant, and Sawyer said, “Let’s hope you’re not,” did he mean it to sound prickish, or does he know the pregnant women die and doesn’t want her to?
-Did anyone else think Des and Charlie’s boat was WAY further off-shore than it really was?
-How far into the future do you think Jack’s flash-forward was?
-Had Juliet and Jack been gettin’ it on before she kissed him in front of Kate?
-Is Ben a chronic liar, or is everything figured out ahead of time? He lies to absolutely everyone, and while it seems like he does it often out of desperation, things always seem to work for him in the end. He’s clearly working alone at this point. Mikhail and Tom both thought the big hatch explosion knocked out their communications, and now Mikhail finds out Ben’s been jamming it behind his back.
-Was Walt really on the island, or did Walt somehow astrally project himself to Locke the same way he did last season to Shannon?
-Bonnie says the keypad was programmed by a musician. Who? Is Brian Wilson on the island?
-Jack tells Hamilton to get his father down here right now and find out if he’s drunker than him. Does that mean his father’s really alive? Or was he simply being metaphorical, and reminding him that he’s not as bad as his father?
-How did Penny happen to be transmitting at exactly the moment the channel was opened? Has she been transmitting constantly?
-Didn’t anyone think it took Charlie a REALLY long time to shut off that switch, since he went away over 24 hours before the switch was actually shut off?
-Who is Naomi? What will happen? Will they really get rescued here, or somewhere in the near future?
-Does Ben really know that Naomi’s not on the up-and-up, or is he just saying that hoping they’ll believe him, not realizing he’s actually right?
-What did Locke mean when he said, “You’re not supposed to do this?”
-in the final flashback, Kate says “he” will be wondering where she is. Who? Sawyer? Or is she with someone else? Did she go back to her husband? How is she not in prison? She’s certainly well off with the fancy car and such.

I’m sure I’m missing a lot, but it’s late, and I need to post this. I’ve watched the episode twice, after saying I wouldn’t. It was just too good to watch only once.

So now… we wait until February. Ugh. But WOW what an ender. I’m happy. Super happy. What did you think?
Joss Whedon Speaks Out
To Joss: The world has been a quieter, less interesting, and less girl-power place since you left my TV set. Please come back.

As many of you know, Joss Whedon frequents the comments board at Whedonesque.com. A few days ago he posted an entry about violence against women that is thoughtful, angry, touching, and calls for a rise to action. This is the man who invented Buffy. Read on and you'll understand why she was so awesome. You can go here to read the original post, and comment directly to him.

Let's Watch A Girl Get Beaten To Death. This is not my blog, but I don’t have a blog, or a space, and I’d like to be heard for a bit.

Last month seventeen year old Dua Khalil was pulled into a crowd of young men, some of them (the instigators) family, who then kicked and stoned her to death. This is an example of the breath-taking oxymoron “honor killing”, in which a family member (almost always female) is murdered for some religious or ethical transgression. Dua Khalil, who was of the Yazidi faith, had been seen in the company of a Sunni Muslim, and possibly suspected of having married him or converted. That she was torturously murdered for this is not, in fact, a particularly uncommon story. But now you can watch the action up close on CNN. Because as the girl was on the ground trying to get up, her face nothing but red, the few in the group of more than twenty men who were not busy kicking her and hurling stones at her were filming the event with their camera-phones.

There were security officers standing outside the area doing nothing, but the footage of the murder was taken – by more than one phone – from the front row. Which means whoever shot it did so not to record the horror of the event, but to commemorate it. To share it. Because it was cool.

I could start a rant about the level to which we have become desensitized to violence, about the evils of the voyeuristic digital world in which everything is shown and everything is game, but honestly, it’s been said. And I certainly have no jingoistic cultural agenda. I like to think that in America this would be considered unbearably appalling, that Kitty Genovese is still remembered, that we are more evolved. But coincidentally, right before I stumbled on this vid I watched the trailer for “Captivity”.

A few of you may know that I took public exception to the billboard campaign for this film, which showed a concise narrative of the kidnapping, torture and murder of a sexy young woman. I wanted to see if the film was perhaps more substantial (especially given the fact that it was directed by “The Killing Fields” Roland Joffe) than the exploitive ad campaign had painted it. The trailer resembles nothing so much as the CNN story on Dua Khalil. Pretty much all you learn is that Elisha Cuthbert is beautiful, then kidnapped, inventively, repeatedly and horrifically tortured, and that the first thing she screams is “I’m sorry”.

“I’m sorry.”

What is wrong with women?

I mean wrong. Physically. Spiritually. Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly? I have spent a good part of my life trying to do that math, and I’m no closer to a viable equation. And I have yet to find a culture that doesn’t buy into it. Women’s inferiority – in fact, their malevolence -- is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished. (Objectification: another tangential rant avoided.) And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable.

I try to think how we got here. The theory I developed in college (shared by many I’m sure) is one I have yet to beat: Womb Envy. Biology: women are generally smaller and weaker than men. But they’re also much tougher. Put simply, men are strong enough to overpower a woman and propagate. Women are tough enough to have and nurture children, with or without the aid of a man. Oh, and they’ve also got the equipment to do that, to be part of the life cycle, to create and bond in a way no man ever really will. Somewhere a long time ago a bunch of men got together and said, “If all we do is hunt and gather, let’s make hunting and gathering the awesomest achievement, and let’s make childbirth kinda weak and shameful.” It’s a rather silly simplification, but I believe on a mass, unconscious level, it’s entirely true. How else to explain the fact that cultures who would die to eradicate each other have always agreed on one issue? That every popular religion puts restrictions on women’s behavior that are practically untenable? That the act of being a free, attractive, self-assertive woman is punishable by torture and death? In the case of this upcoming torture-porn, fictional. In the case of Dua Khalil, mundanely, unthinkably real. And both available for your viewing pleasure.

It’s safe to say that I’ve snapped. That something broke, like one of those robots you can conquer with a logical conundrum. All my life I’ve looked at this faulty equation, trying to understand, and I’ve shorted out. I don’t pretend to be a great guy; I know really really well about objectification, trust me. And I’m not for a second going down the “women are saints” route – that just leads to more stone-throwing (and occasional Joan-burning). I just think there is the staggering imbalance in the world that we all just take for granted. If we were all told the sky was evil, or at best a little embarrassing, and we ought not look at it, wouldn’t that tradition eventually fall apart? (I was going to use ‘trees’ as my example, but at the rate we’re getting rid of them I’m pretty sure we really do think they’re evil. See how all rants become one?)

Now those of you who frequent this site are, in my wildly biased opinion, fairly evolved. You may hear nothing new here. You may be way ahead of me. But I can’t contain my despair, for Dua Khalil, for humanity, for the world we’re shaping. Those of you who have followed the link I set up know that it doesn’t bring you to a video of a murder. It brings you to a place of sanity, of people who have never stopped asking the question of what is wrong with this world and have set about trying to change the answer. Because it’s no longer enough to be a decent person. It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself. I’ve always had a bent towards apocalyptic fiction, and I’m beginning to understand why. I look and I see the earth in flames. Her face was nothing but red.

All I ask is this: Do something. Try something. Speaking out, showing up, writing a letter, a check, a strongly worded e-mail. Pick a cause – there are few unworthy ones. And nudge yourself past the brink of tacit support to action. Once a month, once a year, or just once. If you can’t think of what to do, there is this handy link. Even just learning enough about a subject so you can speak against an opponent eloquently makes you an unusual personage. Start with that. Any one of you would have cried out, would have intervened, had you been in that crowd in Bashiqa. Well thanks to digital technology, you’re all in it now.

I have never had any faith in humanity. But I will give us props on this: if we can evolve, invent and theorize our way into the technologically magical, culturally diverse and artistically magnificent race we are and still get people to buy the idiotic idea that half of us are inferior, we’re pretty amazing. Let our next sleight of hand be to make that myth disappear.

The sky isn’t evil. Try looking up.
Lost Finale Tonight!!!
Hey all: Just a reminder (like you need it) that the special 2-hour finale is tonight. I wish someone had told me last night that Veronica Mars was 2 hours... I tuned in to the second hour thinking it started rather abruptly, and turns out there was another hour before it. Argh.

Anyway.

For Toronto fans, the show begins at SIX o'clock. Seriously. It'll run from 6-8EST on CTV, so we get to see it before the rest of the universe, pretty much. For the Americans, it'll run from 9-11EST on ABC.

UPDATE: Ok, turns out I'm wrong. Sort of. CTV Toronto -- because reality television brings in more bucks than good television -- is running Lost from 7-8, then American Idol from 8-10, and the second hour of Lost from 10-11. However, if you have satellite, go to ATV, the Atlantic version of CTV, and they're running it from 6-8 our time, which is 7-9 theirs. So I was right about the timing, wrong about the station.

Me? I, sadly, won't be watching right at 6, but that's because I have some interviews to do. For people around the country, I figured I'd post the interviews so you can listen to li'l ol' me. ;) If there's a call-in show, call... it would be cool to actually chat with the people I blog to every day.

Tonight: 6:35pm EST, I'll be on The Derek and Romaine Show on Sirius Satellite Radio.
7:00pm EST: CFUN Radio 1410 AM, Jenn and Joe Show, in Vancouver. You can listen online here.

Tomorrow: 7am EST, CFUN Radio 1410 AM, listen at same station.
8am EST, The Bear's Breakfast, 106.9fm Ottawa, listen online here.

If I get any more bookings today, I'll post them here.

As for tonight's blog, I'll probably only have time to watch it once before posting. Expect the post between 10 and 11, and let's wait to start up the comments until then, just in case our American friends are checking in and see a spoiler, which I wouldn't want. Enjoy!!

UPDATE: Okay, I was just on Salon and it says last night's Veronica was the FINALE. Tell me that ain't true. Tell me... Talk about an series ender that will leave me hanging forever.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Heroes, Chapter 23: How to Stop an Exploding Man
We’ve seen 22 chapters building to this final one of Volume One. We’ve seen characters go from ordinary people to superheroes, slowly master their powers, realize what their callings were, look within themselves to see what truly mattered to them. We’ve waited all season for all of them to finally end up all together in one spot, and we know the fate of 0.07% of the entire world’s population hangs in the balance, and Tim Kring said this finale would be like a big-budget summer film in the final moments. This was going to be the biggest season finale of 2007… and then… bump.

I can’t remember the last time I was this disappointed in one of my shows.

I’m not saying it was all bad. The episode had some great moments, but the writers and producers have been filling their heads all season with the lavish praise poured on them by the fans, the critics, and everyone in Hollywood. It’s the highest-rated new show. There was SO much excitement all year:

Save the Cheerleader. Save the World.
The unveiling of Sylar
The journey of Hiro Nakamura
The glimpse of the apocalyptic future
Mohinder finally getting a clue Oops, sorry, that didn’t happen.
The heroes slowly coming together and crossing paths
Bennet going from evil to good

The writers had SO much riding on this finale that it HAD to be superb or it was going to fail. Could they do it?

Well, actually, they should have. Buffy had several fantastic seasons, all with self-contained arcs, and Joss Whedon always managed to pull out all the stops to have mind-blowing finales. The writers on Heroes have been comparing themselves favorably to Lost all season – because they’ve borrowed so much from the series – talking about how their numbers are up rather than down (though they had nothing to compare it to from last year) how, unlike Lost, they’ll reveal all the answers and won’t keep you guessing.

But guess what? I like guessing. A lot has been wrapped up, and they’ve given me a little teaser at the ending, but what about the journeys of the season? Of COURSE I’ll be tuning in next season, and the next, and buying the DVDs the second they come out. But this was just a disappointment. I think Tim Kring and co. have let the praise get to their heads, and just didn’t try very hard. So here's the wrap-up:


Sylar does his psycho painting – only he doesn’t actually have to make any brush strokes – and realizes Peter will be his adversary in the final battle. The opening title is embedded in Sylar’s paint palette. I know I’ve said this before, but they are so brilliant with thise opening titles.

Parkman stops Bennet from killing Molly, which is unbelievable – one minute Bennet’s holding a gun to her head while Moronder holds a gun to his, saying that he will kill her no matter what. Then Parkman says he won’t let anything happen to her and Bennet drops the gun like, “Oh, okay. If you say so, no probs!”

Meanwhile, DL helps Niki go through a wall and then tells her to save Micah, so she leaves him by the elevator and runs away. So is Linderman really dead? If so, his death was about as anticlimactic as the final scene of this episode.

Bennet tells Peter that he’s the only person who can stop Sylar. Peter takes Claire to Nathan, which is a surprise twist, because he says his brother has never let him down (except, of course, throughout most of this season) but he reads his mind and realizes Nathan thinks there’s no way out of this, that the bomb is inevitable and it’s not worth trying to stop it. Claire runs away, but Granny catches her. Peter runs after her, and ends up out in the street with his hands going all radioactivey. He passes out.

Molly suddenly seems to be sick, so they hook her up to an IV and Moronder gives her another transfusion. She tells them that if she thinks about someone and points to the map, she can find them. There’s only one person in the world that she can’t find, and this person is even worse than Sylar. If she thinks about this person, they can see her. Here’s our first setup for season 2. She locates Sylar in Isaac’s apartment.

Bennet calls Claire, and Gran picks up the phone and tells him that they’re Claire’s real family and will get her safe. Bennet tells Claire that they’re right, let’s let them do this, but he has a plan and will see her again.

Peter, lying on the pavement, suddenly wakes up in the greenhouse on the top of Isaac’s building, and Simone and her Dad Charles are there, with Peter as his nurse. It’s not clear (even at the end of the ep) what exactly happens here, other than I always suspected that Charles had some sort of power, too. I think he can control dreams somehow, and it’s being around him that allowed Peter to have his prophetic dreams. He meets with Peter’s mom and says that Nathan isn’t the one who should be treated like the man who will save the world, but Peter. Then he starts talking to invisible Peter, and knows he’s there. Inside the greenhouse there’s some cheesy dialogue delivered by nurse Peter to Simone about how all that matters is how much we love and care about people and, in the words of Anthony Cooper on Lost, “blahblahblahblah.”

Ando enters Isaac’s apartment and slips on blood, Sylar behind him, Sylar throws the sword away, holds Ando in a neck hold against the wall (without using his hand, of course), and sees the future comic book. He finds the final page and laughs, saying, “You’re kidding. This is how Isaac thought I’d die, stabbed by a silly little man!” Good point, there, Sylar. After seeing the scene, I agree with you. Sylar begins cutting his throat, until Hiro morphs into their presence, and Sylar wonders aloud if he can stop time before Sylar slashes Ando’s neck. So Hiro instead disappears, reappears beside Ando, and then disappears the both of them. AWESOME. Loved this moment.

Niki comes into the room where “Jessica” is sitting (seriously, I doubt ANYONE could have possibly believed that was Jessica and dead Micah, and not Candice doing her illusioneering). Candessica kicks Niki in the head.

Parkman comes into Isaac’s loft, finds the paintings everywhere, sees the oozing blood on the floor, and sees the painting of Sylar and Peter facing off, with “Kirby Plaza” in the back of the painting.

Moronder tells Molly that they have to go, the bogeyman is on his way. Molly says nope, he’s already here.

Granny and Nathan talk to Claire about what’s going to happen tomorrow but that she’ll be safe. She asks them how they could do this, how Gran could let her own son be such a villain and kill so many people, and how Nathan could allow that to happen. She tells Nathan if things were inevitable then why did Gran try so hard to keep them apart for all these years? Nathan looks like he’s finally thinking, “Uh… hm… good point?” But instead he tells her everything will make sense very soon. Gran says they’re offering Claire everything she always wanted, a place to belong, a family, etc. and Nathan gives her a big ol’ hug. So Claire does what any daughter would do in that situation. Jumps out the window. The THUNK was particularly cool. Gran tells Nate to let her go.

Candessica and Niki have a big ol’ Ali Larter on Ali Larter fight scene (the editing team must have LOVED doing this scene) and it’s pretty cool. Niki sees Jessica in the mirror and explains that’s not her. Niki worries she’s not strong enough, then stands up, pummels Candessica with one blow, she turns back into Candice, Micah calls from the closet, and she finds him. Wow. Had to work hard for that one. An entire season of Niki whining that she’s not strong enough, and apparently after she hears for the 18th time that yes, she is, she listens.

Moronder and Molly find DL in the hallway, Molly tells him to wait, Moronder says, “But he needs my help” and runs out, DL morphs into Sylar and sucks his brain… okay, that didn’t happen, but it would have been awesome. This scene just shows once again that no matter what, Moronder will do the stupid thing. In the last half hour, he’s seen people die, had a gun held to Molly’s head, found out Sylar was in the building, and… oh, look, there’s a guy who’s bleeding. I must go help him. Idiot.

Hiro transports he and Ando to the office headquarters in Japan, and tells Ando he’s leaving him there, gives him the kensei sword and takes the other one. He tells him it’s the man who will do it, not the sword. Ando tells him he looks bad ass. Hiro looks pleased. This was a great scene, and a perfect throwback to the early episodes.

Peter talks to Shaft Charles, and Charles says that he's a bad motherf...shut yo mouth! Peter’s true power is to love unconditionally. Then he tells him that all he needs is love, and you can suddenly hear the Beatles behind him singing. A bunch of hippie flower children appear in the air, singing in a purple sky with stars falling all around them. Oh, and that sound you heard was me gagging.

Bennet shakes Peter out of his reverie, and tells him that he will be here to save him if he goes kablooey. And by save him, he means put a bullet in him. This raises an interesting question: Can Peter be killed at all? We know that as long as the thing that killed him remains inside, then he’ll stay dead. So if Peter is shot in the head, and the bullet remains lodged, he’s dead. Someone buries him, he’s put underground, begins decomposing, and somewhere, years later, the bullet just pops out of the skull because a worm dislodged it or something. Does he suddenly come back to life? Hmm… Anyway, Peter thanks “Bennet” who finally reveals that his name is Noah. He’s been sent by God to collect the heroes and load them onto an ark two by two, and it won’t be Sylar or Peter who blow up the world, but God, angry that people haven’t been listening to Him. Only the people in the ark will live. Or something. Did anyone else think this was a lame attempt to copy the religious names on Lost?

Moronder continues to try to save DL rather than get Molly out of harm’s way. Micah and Niki run into the hallway. Micah talks to the elevator and makes it work, and Molly, DL, Niki, Moronder, and Micah get onto the elevator.

Peter and Bennet are in the courtyard in front of the Kirby building. Sylar suddenly shows up, zaps Bennet across the yard and knocks the gun out of his hand. They exchange a few verbal barbs. Suddenly all the heroes are there. We FINALLY have them all together, and as we’ve been told all season, when the heroes are all together, it will be like the Justice League of America. So let’s break down what each of them does, then, shall we? I mean, awesomeness of this magnitude has to be looked at closely:

Parkman: Shoots at Sylar, who turns the bullets on him and shoots him back. Parkman lies there bleeding for the rest of the scene. Apparently in police college they didn’t tell him about BULLET-PROOF VESTS. Argh.

Niki: She grabs a parking meter and whacks Sylar hard, but then Micah shouts that Daddy needs tending to, and she runs back over to DL. What the hell was SHE going to do to “tend” to him??

DL: Lies there bleeding the entire time.

Micah: Stands there yelling about how Daddy is bleeding.

Molly: Nothing.

Bennet: Lies against the building, useless.

Moronder: Sits with DL, “tending” to him.

Peter: Held in a grip by Sylar, helpless until he absorbs Niki’s strength, then he beats up Sylar. Suddenly he goes radioactivey, and he becomes the liability, not the strength.

Hiro: Time travels into the scene, runs toward Sylar with the sword, and seemingly kills him. Uh… okay? The greatest villain I’ve seen in YEARS and he goes that quickly, without a fight?? What happened to the whole, “This ending will be like a big-budget summer movie” that we were promised? Peter asks Hiro to kill him, Sylar, in his final moment, shoots Hiro into the building, but Hiro teleports into the scene.

Claire: FINALLY shows up, runs to Daddy, grabs the gun, and… can’t do a damn thing. Great.

So there are your heroes for ya. Looks like Hiro was the only one worthy of ANYTHING, but in the end, didn’t really do much of anything. Sylar ain’t dead, and he couldn’t stop Peter.

Peter stands there, glowing and getting worse, and it sounds like the opening strains of U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” start up.

Nathan suddenly shows, and says, “You saved the cheerleader. So WE could save the world.” (Oh, that sound was me gagging again.) They exchange verbal love for each other, then Nathan grabs him and flies up into the sky. And somewhere, out in the Earth’s stratosphere, Peter explodes. Instead of killing everyone in NY, he possibly takes out the GALAXY. Nice. Then radioactive rain begins falling, and the world melts. But don’t worry… probably 0.07% of the world will survive. Ahem.

Claire hugs her father and smiles. Why does she smile??? Because she couldn’t pull a trigger, BOTH the Petrellis died!

Cut to montage of Moronder talking, saying we have a simple human need to find a kindred, and know in our hearts we are not alone. We see people move on, everyone seems so happy, and then we see a trail of blood showing Sylar apparently wasn’t dead, and slouched into the nearest sewer.

But Kring doesn’t end it there. He cuts to Hiro landing in a field, and we’re told this is actually the beginning of season 2. He’s trapped between a gang of warriors and the kensei warrior, and then suddenly the world goes black, and a huge eclipse happens. The end.

I’ve watched it twice, and still found the Sylar/explosion ending to be anticlimactic, but like I said, had good moments in it. Did they try to cram too much into it? Did they rely on too much cheesiness about we just need to love ourselves and love the world and everyone in it and find kindred spirits and know we’re not alone and… blahblahblahblah?

Are Peter and Nathan dead now? How did Sylar survive? Is Linderman dead? Will Mohinder get a clue? Is Niki cured and now just a strong badass? Will Hiro ever find his way back to our time? Will DL die? Will Parkman be saved?

How will season 2 tie in to season 1? I’m definitely intrigued, and because it’s called “Generations,” presumably we’ll find out who Gran is (could she be the person that Molly won’t even picture in her head?) where Linderman came from, Charles, Mr. Petrelli… all the previous heroes. While I found tonight’s ep to be a disappointment, I definitely can’t wait for season 2. Here’s hoping they map out the full season ahead of time so they don’t disappoint as much with NEXT year’s finale.

What did you think? Did it satisfy you?
The Office: The Printable Schrute Buck!!


I noticed a lot of people were entering my site on Friday looking for Schrute bucks, and thankfully, one of my readers is a graphic designer who beat NBC to the punch and designed one herself. Go here to print off the full-page pdf of a Schrute buck. Hand them out around your office as motivational tools, and remember, if you print off 10,000 of these, they are redeemable for $1.*

Coming soon: The Stanley Nickel.

*Nikki Stafford cannot guarantee the validity of this statement.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Charlie's Marker
A couple of people have emailed me off-list to ask what I meant when I was referring to the toddleresque way Charlie held his marker in "Greatest Hits." So I went to look for a screen capture, and found one at Lost-Media.com. Here's the pic:




You can see a full-screen zoom here. No wonder "You All Everybody" has so few lyrics; Charlie's hand must cramp up something awful after about 6 words...

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Office Season Finale: The Job
Wow… last night’s episode has the usual tension, comedy, laugh-out-loud craziness, and insane Creed, but it had another shocking ending that I didn’t see coming (and wasn’t actually a cliffhanger, just an “AAAH!”) It was great, and while it appears things were left status quo, a LOT has changed between people. (See end of this post for comments)


Fave things:
The office reaction to Jim’s new hair.
Meredith: You got a new haircut, it’s sexy hot.
Jim: Ooohhhh.

Andy: What’s up, Big Haircut?

Jim: Karen suggested that I get a haircut for the interview tomorrow, so that I could look presentable, and not, as she so lovingly puts it, homeless.



Pam: For the record, I am not embarrassed at all. It needed to be said, and I said it, and it only took me 3 years to summon the courage, so [regal bow] thank you.

Dwight’s reaction to Michael’s letter of succession.

Jim: So I was wondering if Karen and I could get off a few hours early so we could spend the night in the city?
Michael: Why, so you can do it?
Jim: Wwwhoops.

Michael’s suggestion that they do a convoy, and could moon each other.
Karen: How would you moon us if you were driving?Michael: Cruise control.

Jim telling Kevin to take the day to think about who is hotter, Karen or Pam, and get back to him.


The screen cap of Creed’s “blog” saying his favourite kind of car is the motorcycle because they’re small and dangerous.
Creed:
www.creedthoughts.gov.www/creedthoughts Check it out.
Ryan: Last year Creed asked me how to set up a blog. Wanting to protect the world from being exposed to Creed’s brain, I opened up a Word document on his computer and put an address at the top. I’ve read some of it. Even for the Internet, it’s . . . pretty shocking.

By the way, if you WERE looking for Creed's blog, it really does exist, on the NBC site (in fact, the first post is the same one he was typing into the Word document). You can find it here. It's pretty hilarious and creepy.


Dwight: How would you like to spend the night with the Regional Manager of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton?
Angie: No, Dwight, I don’t care if that’s how they consolidated power in Ancient Rome.
(Did anyone think her response was not only hilarious, but was something Dwight has told her? Have they actually discussed this as a viable possibility?)

Dwight: I’m going to be your new boss. It’s my greatest dream come true. Welcome to the Hotel Hell. Check in time is now, check out time is never.
Jim: Does my room have cable?
Dwight: No. And the sheets are made of FIRE.
Jim: Can I change rooms?
Dwight: Sorry, we’re all booked up. Hell convention in town!
Jim: Can I have a late check-out?
Dwight: I’ll have to check with the manager.
Jim: You’re not . . . the manager? Even in your own fantasy?
Dwight: I’m the owner. The co-owner. With SATAN!
Jim: Okay. Just so I understand it. In your wildest fantasy you are in hell. And you are co-running a bed and breakfast with the devil.
Dwight: I haven’t told you my salary yet.
Jim: Go.
Dwight: Eighty THOUSAND dollars a year!

Dwight: Once I am officially regional manager my first order of business will be to demote Jim Halpert, so I will need a new number two. My ideal choice? Jack Bauer. But he is unavailable, fictional, and over-qualified.

Michael consulting with the women of Dunder-Mifflin (minus Meredith) to figure out what to do about Jan.

Michael doing the about-face when he sees Jan’s “boob enhancement.”

Creed, on fake boobs: I find it offense. Au naturel, baby. Swing low, sweet chariots.

Pam: I am what I am. [pause] That’s Popeye.

Dwight’s interview process and Andy’s wacky answers:
Dwight: What is the best colour?
Andy: White, because it contains all other colours.
Dwight: Wrong, black, it is the most dominant. How do you make a table?
Andy: You make a chair, but you don’t sit on it.

Michael: So I guess we’re getting back together.
Pam: What happened?
Michael: Your advice was good, but Jan’s was bigger.

Michael: Two weeks ago I was in the worst relationship of my life. She treated me poorly, we didn’t connect, I was miserable. Now I am in the best relationship of my life with the same woman. Love is a mystery.

Michael leaving Dunder-Mifflin with music playing.

Michael: I am by far the most qualified person they’re interviewing. Jim and Karen are here, which is cute. They’re like kid actors tagging along with Daddy on the big audition, hoping to be discovered. Except Daddy is the best actor around. Daddy is Meryl Streep.

Andy, scrubbing the mug that Dwight’s been spitting into: Three months ago, I was nowhere. I was just a Cornell grad in anger management. Look where I am now. Not bad.

Michael’s message to Jan, through her personal assistant: I want to squeeze them. It’s code. She’ll know what it means.

Dwight making Pam Assistant Regional Manager.
Pam: So… you would be the regional manager, AND the assistant regional manager, Andy is your number two, and I would be the secret assistant regional manager.
Dwight: Mmm… let’s call it secret assistant TO the regional manager. Do you accept?
Pam: Absolutely I do.

Pam: I learned from Jim, if Dwight ever asks you to accept something secret, you reply, “Absolutely I do.”

Michael giving the clich├ęd “weaknesses” answer in the interview.

Phyllis: I think it’s gonna be Michael.
Oscar: Do you think he’s really qualified for that job?
Phyllis: No, but he wasn’t qualified for the job he has now and he got that one.

Dwight: No more meetings!
Stanley: Amen.
Dwight: Instead, today I will begin my first lecture in a long series of lectures, designed to increase your knowledge on the world of paper.

Pam: I literally cannot WAIT to see what Dwight has planned!... And I wish Jim was here.

Pam’s over-enthusiasm when looking at the seven types of Pennsylvanian top soil.

Dwight: Stanley, when rainfall occurs, does it usually fall in a liquid, solid, or gaseous state?
Stanley: Liquid.
Dwight: Very good. You have earned one Schrute buck.
Stanley: I don’t want it.
Dwight: Then you have been deducted 50 Schrute bucks!!
Stanley: Make it a hundred.
Dwight: W— don’t you want to earn Schrute bucks?
Stanley: No. In fact, I’ll give you a billion Stanley nickels if you never talk to me again.
Dwight: What is the ratio of Stanley nickels to Schrute bucks?
Stanley: The same as the ratio of unicorns to leprechauns.

David: What do you think about Michael Scott?
Karen: He’s a very nice man. And he’s very well suited for the job he has now.
David: This is off the record.
Karen: He would be a disaster.

Dwight and Andy repainting Michael’s office black.

Jim smiling when he hears the receptionist say, “Dunder-Mifflin, this is Grace.”
(*Did anyone else think he was going to take his name out of the running and let Karen take the job?)

Michael: I guess you could… come and stay at my condo… I think I could back out of the sale. I’d probably get some negative feedback on my ebay profile.

Michael: Ryan… coffee.
Ryan: I don’t do that stuff anymore [now we know why he said this!]
Michael: No… it’s for me. Bimbo.

Michael: So I’m back, and I am never, ever going to leave. I am going nowhere. This place is like the hospital where I was born, my house, my old age home, and my graveyard for my bones.

Dwight: Pam. Hello.
Pam: Dwight. Hello.
Dwight: I wanted to thank you for helping me when you held the title of secret assistant to the regional manager. You served the office with great dignity.
[Pam salutes Dwight.]

Pam: Jim and I are just too similar. Maybe one day I’ll find my own Karen… That is a, um… a man. A man version. But until then, I can hold my head up. [pause] I’m not gay.

David: Let me ask you a question, Jim, you’re clearly a very bright guy.
Jim: Yes.David: Always hitting your numbers, personable, you make a great impression on everyone you meet.
Jim: I’m sorry, is the question how did I get to be so awesome?




The little note falling out of the folder from Pam :::swoon:::







Jim: How are your feet?
Pam: Medium rare, thanks.


Whoa moments:
Karen: Pam… is… kind of a bitch.

Michael: I sold [my condo] on eBay. The buyer was very motivated, as was I. It went for 80% of what I paid, sold in record time.

Angela, after finding out Dwight was the new manager: Good-bye, Kelly Kapoor.

Karen: I’m not stupid, okay, I was at the beach. We don’t have a future in Scranton. There’s one too many people there.
Jim: You mean Kevin?
Karen: Exactly. But you get it, right? We can’t stay there.
Jim: Yeah. I do.

David: I thought it was clear in the job description. The job you’re applying for is Jan’s job.
Michael: I don’t understand. We’re tag-teaming it?
David: No, we’re letting Jan go.

Jan is a complete nutbar.

Pam: I haven’t heard anything, but I bet Jim got the job. I mean, why wouldn’t he, he’s totally
qualified and smart. Everyone loves him, and if he never comes back again, that’s OK. We’re friends, and I’m sure we’ll stay friends. We just never got the timing right, you know? I shot him down, and then he did the same to me. But you know what? It’s OK. I’m totally fine. Everything is going to be totally…
Jim: Pam… sorry. Are you free for dinner tonight?
Pam: Yes.
Jim: All right. Then… it’s a date.
Pam: [grinning from ear to ear] I’m sorry, what was the question?

David: So… I know we left the other day on a note of uncertainty, but after some more thought, I’m very pleased to be able to offer you this job…. Great! I’m so glad. We’re all very excited that you’ll be joining us, it’ll be nice to have another MBA around here.
Cut to… RYAN: I’m excited too. Okay, bye!
Kelly: Who was that?
Ryan: Nobody. You and I are done.
Kelly: WHAT?!


So… what do you think happened? Was Jim offered the job and he changed his mind and turned it down? Was Karen offered the job, and if so, why would SHE have turned it down? Did they really think Ryan was more qualified than either Jim or Karen, just because he has an MBA, but hasn’t made a single sale in 2 years?

So what will season 4 hold?
  • Will Dwight begin to resent Michael now that he’s had a taste of Michael’s “power”?
  • How will the relationship between Dwight and Andy change now that they were possibly the manager and #2?
  • What will happen between Pam and Jim? Will we see them attempt a dating situation, or will they take it slowly? Will they just remain friends for now?
  • We know Rashida Jones is going to another show, but how will she be written off this one? Will we find out she and Jim had a long talk in NY? (Notice she wasn’t in the car when Jim was driving back to Scranton.)


Who are the Women in the Looking-Glass Hatch?
First of all, a quick note that I posted a couple of screen caps about Charlie's busking flashback and the mugger, but for some reason Blogger pushed it down below an earlier post, so you might have missed it. Scroll down and it's 2 beneath this one.

There has been a lot of speculation about who the women are in the looking-glass hatch. We see the blonde up close, and no, it's not the schoolteacher, as some boards are suggesting, or Sarah, Jack's ex-wife. The actress, Tracy Middendorf, may be recognizable to genre fans: I know her from Alias, where she played a character for two episodes where she was an undercover spy and her husband was an undercover spy and they were both trying to protect their kids. She was also in Angel, but waaaaay back in the pilot episode. She was the waitress he follows around and gets to know, and finds out she'd come to L.A. and was in with that creepy vampire guy who was going to kill her. (It's been a couple of years since I've seen the ep.) Here's a screen cap from Lost:



The brunette is someone we can only see from across the room, and she sorta looks like Cassidy, Sawyer's ex:




But I'm assuming that's one too many blasts from the past for that guy. If you pay close attention to the promo that appeared at the end of the episode, you can see her again, much clearer, and it's definitely not Cassidy (this is spoilerish for anyone who avoids the promos):


So here's my speculation: Could it be Annie, the little girl Ben was in love with?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The FOX and CW announcements!!
As being reported over on E! Online right now (I've been watching their ticker all morning), the CW just announced their fall schedule... and there's nary a young private detective to be found. :::sniffle::: So it looks like Veronica Mars is toast... however, they won't give her the dignity to actually declare the time of death, and instead are teasing fans with the old, "It's not cancelled, it's just off the schedule, people. It could still come back mid-season. Oh, and make sure you look up in the air that same day to see the pigs flying in the skies over L.A." Sigh. I think a good-bye is in order. Wah. (Most news outlets are already reporting Veronica Mars has been cancelled.)

Supernatural, Smallville, and One Tree Hill have all been given the safe sign, so they'll be back in the fall. As will America's Next Top Model, but there was never any doubt about the fate of that show.

New shows (taken from Kristin's post):
Gossip Girl: A sudsy teen drama about Manhattan rich kids and the bloggy girl who keeps tabs on them. It's from The O.C. mastermind Josh Schwartz.
The Reaper: A dramedy about a bounty hunter for the devil.
Life Is Wild: A drama about a family in South Africa.
Aliens in America: A comedy about a Muslim foreign exchange student living with an American family.

Meanwhile, over on Fox, they actually picked up some scripted shows (don't worry, they'll cancel them again somewhere between weeks 2 and 8):

Back to You: a comedy about news anchors starring Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammar. Excuse me while I go make sure that isn't a misprint from the announcements from 1995. The possible saving grace? Fred Willard is in it.

K-Ville: A drama about cops in New Orleans post-Katrina. Could be interesting: It's got Anthony Anderson from The Shield, and Simone from Heroes, and Margie's husband in Fargo. Good cast, interesting premise...

Kitchen Nightmares: Please don't ruin this, please don't ruin this. For the uninitiated, one of the BEST reality shows EVER (seriously) is Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. In the U.S. it airs on the Food Network and probably BBC America, in Canada the Food Network and BBC Canada. It is freakin' brilliant. You may know Gordon Ramsay from the Fox'd-out Hell's Kitchen, the reality show where he screams at contestants to become a head chef in a restaurant. It's good, but they make him do things he wouldn't normally do, and turn him into a WAY bigger asshole than he really is. The thing is, Fox doesn't need to try. Ramsay is a foul-mouthed lunatic, unleashed on these restaurants, and I ADORE him. The premise of the show is this: A restaurant/pub/hotel bar somewhere in the UK is going downhill and the owners are bleeding money. He has one week to go in, suss out the situation, figure out a solution, and work with the people to fix it and then they have a big reopening, he leaves, and then comes back for a surprise visit a couple of months later. Sometimes he comes back and it's boarded up. Sometimes they've changed everything. Sometimes they're still bankrupt because they didn't listen to a word of advice. But it's ALWAYS entertaining. I love this show. Fox will probably ruin it by filming it on video and making him a total bastard and only doing restaurants run by rednecks who will yell back and then they'll give them the heads up that Gordon's coming back (see, the fun thing about his return visit is it ALWAYS catches them off-guard) or whatever, but I hope Fox can keep it together. I could definitely watch Gordon on my TV every night of the week. And the good part? I can become invested in the show and Fox will cancel it after 3 episodes, and oh well. I'll just go back to the better BBC version. :)

New Amsterdam: Guy who's immortal and was a Dutch soldier in New Amsterdam in the 17th century, now a cop in the 21st. Weird, but interesting. They'll cancel it before episode 9.

The Return of Jezebel James: Damn you, Fox. I WANT to boycott you SO badly and then your programming is always so much more interesting than everyone else's!! Why must you cancel with such swiftness? Argh. Anyway, this show features the double whammy of Lauren Ambrose (the inimitable Claire on Six Feet Under) and the brilliant Parker Posey. I am SO there. I don't even care what it's about. (In case you do, it's about a book editor who needs her estranged younger sister to carry her baby... oh my god, now I want to see it more...)

The Rules for Starting Over: I mention this only because it will affect one of my fave shows. This show was picked up this morning, and it stars Rashida Jones, a.k.a. Karen from The Office. Apparently on The Office they filmed 4 alternate endings for tonight's season finale, and I'm assuming now they're tacking on the ending that involves Jones leaving in some way, since she's, um, leaving. This also has Shaun Majumder, a very funny Canadian. Something about dating in your 30s and the difference from dating in your 20s. Original. The "less special" version of thirtysomething, presumably.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles: And finally, just don't bother watching this one because... oh who am I kidding. Yet another show to get completely hooked on that they will cancel by episode 6. This is linked to Terminator, and covers the years between Terminator 2 and 3, where Sarah Connor lives with her son and tries to keep him alive. It has Summer Glau (River) from Firefly. Frak. This has cancellation written all over it, but is SO intriguing.

The rest of the installments are reality, or I don't care.

I need to go mourn Veronica now. :(