Thursday, March 29, 2007

Nikki and Paulo -- We Barely Knew Ye... well, anyway, SEE YA!
Last night's episode of Lost, where the writers showed that they like us, they really really like us, has generated a lot of commentary today. Not because major mysteries were solved or new clues thrown at us, but because it was a strange standalone episode involving two of the most hated characters on television.

I love Doc Jensen over on the Entertainment Weekly site. He's a true fan of the show, always has super-weird theories that are a lot of fun, and always has his post up the day after the show (mine is up the same night, I win!) But today in his rundown he suspected most fans would hate the episode because they hated Nikki and Paulo, and would see the show as a big fat waste of their time. I think he was missing the point of the show.

Were Nikki and Paulo meant to be nothing more than a huge wink at viewers? Or did the writers have bigger plans for them at one time, and change those plans when they realized the fans would NEVER come around to these two? You could argue that they are an extended inside joke, meant to answer the question, "Why don't we see more of what's going on with the background people?" (Answer: Because you don't really want to; you love your characters and don't want to waste time with two more.) Somehow, they showed that these two people cared about each other, had feelings, were con artists just like Sawyer and Kate, and were generally misunderstood, yet when the ending came like a Medusa spider to our ankles, admit it: you laughed. You were elated. You thought, "YES! The writers understand me!" How do they do that?? We're not bad people. We watch this show because it's about humanity, and I'd like to think I have a little bit of that myself.

But Nikki and Paulo were never anything more than cartoon characters, and when the Roadrunner hands the Coyote a little anvil and the Coyote walks off a cliff, we don't mourn his death. We don't shed a small tear as the Acme coffin pulls away with him in it. We laugh.

Damon and Carlton have been making comments for weeks that this week's episode had one purpose. To paraphrase: "For all of the fans who wanted to know more about Nikki and Paulo, your prayers are about to be answered." Now I realize the cheekiness of that statement. Clause 2 had nothing to do with Clause 1. Because there ARE NO FANS who wanted to know more about Nikki and Paulo. But the fans of the show DID get their prayers answered last night. I was literally on my couch, arms in the air, yelling in delight. And I don't feel one ounce of guilt for it. It was meant to be damn funny, but that final scene was also meant to make us just a wee bit uncomfortable.

So onto the comments, and my responses:

The whole thing seemed too darn predictable. Every plot point was telegraphed ahead of time. And those kids couldn't act.
Wow, I'm so impressed you saw that ending coming! I didn't find it predictable at all. I think sometimes when I'm watching shows I just stop trying to guess the ending (my hubby is the opposite, always trying to see what's coming) and enjoy it, so I certainly didn't think they were alive. I agree, though; watching those two act, I think the shovel Sawyer was using to dig the graves had more charisma.

"Who the hell’s Nikki? Who the hell’s Paulo?” Ah, just what every casual viewer was thinking this episode. My parents, for instance, thought they just created Nikki and Paulo and had no idea that they've been in every "beach" episode this season.
That’s so surprising to me! Did they miss the scene where Desmond talked to Paulo and borrowed the golf club? Or the entirety of Eko’s episode where Nikki and Paulo went along for the trek and had numerous lines? Especially the scene where Nikki is planted in front of the televisions and discovers Patchy? I just can’t imagine someone not noticing these two. It would be like in season 1 saying you have no idea who Rose is.

Is he watching the same show? Since when has Lost not gone that dark? Also, burying them with the diamonds was an excellent touch.

Loved that they buried them with diamonds!! But I have to say, while Lost isn’t exactly a happy-happy-joy-joy program about sweetness and light, burying people alive is an entirely new level of evil that this show hasn’t touched. I can’t think of anything else on the show that is quite that dark, and I’m including the deaths of Ana Lucia and Libby and the torture of Sawyer. I tried to imagine for a second what it would be like to be fully conscious, aware of everything going on around you but unable to communicate with anyone, and then having dirt thrown over my face and being smothered alive. And then I had to stop imagining. Fast.

We have no reason to suspect they actually saw "Henry Gale" while he was being held captive. Jack and his inner circle kept a tight lid on that. But yeah, they did keep a lot to hide their secrets.

Good point about Paulo not ever seeing Henry in the Swan station. However, he did clearly hear a plan to kidnap Jack and Co., by someone who was definitely not part of the beach crew, and he didn't think, "Hey, look, strangers who are planning to hurt us. Maybe I should tell someone." Then again, the guy's about as dumb as a post, and maybe he thought he was watching television and they didn't actually exist. LOL!

to have nikki open her eyes just as a shovelful of dirt covered them ... talk about poetic justice! i, too, kept thinking, "no, they're not going to ... they can't ... they won't actually ... oh my god, they ARE! they did!" and then i cackled at the TV like a deranged witch. AWESOME ending.

Heehee! You and me both. What a horrific way to get rid of my nemesiseseses. I couldn’t have wished for a better ending. LOL! I must also say here, my husband said, "So... they killed these characters off in a horrific way. And one of them was named Nikki. Think they're trying to send you a message?" Hahahahahaha

i especially loved that nikki and paolo knew EVERYTHING before everyone else did, but they were too self-absorbed with their own mystery/secrecy to share the info. just think of how totally different everything would be if they told the others (the lostaway-others, not the Others-others) what they had heard and seen!

It reminded me a lot of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. In that play, the two very minor characters in Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, become the two main characters and we watch them as they move in and out of various scenes in Hamlet, but know what’s going on the entire time, the plots against people, the madness, etc. but they just keep to themselves the entire time.

They recreated the crash set on the beach and filmed Nikki, Paulo, Arzt, Boone, Shannon and extras. (The actor who plays Scott talked about everyone getting back into their first-day wardrobe and injury make-up.) Some genius edited it together with archive footage. They also used angles we haven't seen before to justify that Nikki and Paulo were there, just out of frame. Same goes for the "Live Together, Die Alone" speech, where they made it a point to include Arzt and Ethan as well.

Wow, thanks for that info! I figured something like that must have happened; there were several moments in that plane crash that were absolutely not from the pilot episode, and there’s no way they would have filmed them 3 years ago and just held them on a shelf somewhere, but the thought of them setting up that crash site again… yikes! The production people must have HATED the writers this week! :)

I think they worked in the plane crash scene amazingly well. But whats up with Boone and Shannon's hair? They both look like they have bad hairpieces on LOL

I agree; I know Ian Somerhalder has very long hair now (remember him in the Locke episode?) but I don’t know what Maggie Grace’s hair looks like. The hair was bad… though not as bad as the TA’s hair on Veronica Mars. That takes the prize for worst TV hair of the year.

But I think it's also the whole being buried alive theme that's horrifying. It's my worst nightmare. I actually had to volubly exhale and say, Whoa... and then change the channel after that one. It rocked me.

I agree. I find the whole concept unbelievably terrifying. I’ve read all sorts of stuff about people being conscious but their bodies appearing to be dead. There are lots of reports of graveyards being moved and they exhume the bodies only to see the insides of the coffins have been scratched to pieces. ACK! It just terrifies me.

And I think he really cared about her. I mean, why would he try to speak and give an explanation if he didn't care? And he cried. But as badly as Paolo acted when he was moving, I thought he did a damn fine job of lying there and looking dead with his eyes open.

LOL!! Totally agreed. Rodrigo Santoro proves his acting chops when lying completely inert. Wicked.

looked like the same bag of diamonds that Matt from Heroes stole...

I KNEW that bag of diamonds looked familiar!!!


Anonymous said...

I've been searching my heart since last night, seeing the positive reactions of people I respect, and wondering if I were being too harsh about the episode.

Ah, no.

Though the ending was the one thing I didn't suspect until the name Medusa spider came up again (or was it mentioned earlier and I missed it) because of course it would paralyse (turn to stone). That was pretty cool.

The big mystery for me and the one that I think will never be solved (though this is Lost - I could be wrong) was what was the producer of an American B-action TV series filmed in Australia doing with a safe full of diamonds?

Did he get them from Greg Grunberg?

Michelle Rowen said...

Now I'm wondering what happened to Rose and her hubby. Forgot all about them.

And *shrugs* I thought Paulo was kinda hot. Does that make me a bad person? Oh well. Bye bye Paulo.

Nikki Stafford said...

Colleen: Don't feel bad; you're not the only one. Go check out Bill Ervolino's post at You'll find a kindred spirit there. :)

Michelle: You're not the only one. I was SO excited in the summer when I heard he was joining the cast, and it's just too bad Paulo was as dull as wood. Go watch Love, Actually if you really want to see him in action. :)

Anonymous said...

"And *shrugs* I thought Paulo was kinda hot. Does that make me a bad person? Oh well. Bye bye Paulo.

That's okay. I miss Nikki. The one with the short shorts that is. :-)

Nikki Stafford said...

Brian: Don't worry, you still have me. :-D