Friday, February 27, 2009

Lost 5.07: When Did Locke Die?

I posted yesterday on DocArzt on the seeming time inconsistency between Locke meeting Jack and then Ben strangling him. Months should have passed between the two instances, but I suggested that they happened on the same day, or a day or two apart. This morning people are saying no, I'm wrong, that he meets with Jack, months pass, and Ben strangles him. I would love to believe that's true (seriously... I love the writers on Lost and spend more time defending them than is probably healthy) but in this instance, I don't buy it. The reason? Locke's wounds from the car accident. Here he is talking to Jack in the hospital:

Most of his scratches are on the right side of his head, he has a big one on his nose, and a few rounder ones on the top of his head.

Now here he is writing his note to Jack:

Same scratches, as fresh as they were in the hospital. (By the way, the lighting in this photo isn't very good, so before you say that some of them are healed, trust me: I just rewatched both scenes on high-def and all of the wounds are there and look exactly the same.) When he steps up onto the table to kill himself, his cast is fresh and new.

So what happened? I don't technically want to call this a nitpick yet, because the writers are far too clever for that. The obit is what is throwing me; Jack sees the obit at the end of his downward spiral, not at the beginning. I wonder if Locke's body was somehow preserved for a long time. If he's walking around on the island, then he's different from other people. Is he alive alive? Or is he island-alive, like Christian? He eats the mango as some sort of proof that he's alive (thank you to one of my readers who pointed out that and its Christ connection). But at the end of season 3, Ben tells Jack that if he makes that phone call, he will kill every living person on this island. That line has stuck with me for ages, and I've talked about it ad nauseum. Another of my readers emailed me this morning and brought it up again, and as I'd suggested a few years ago, maybe he means there are people on this island who are not quite alive. But not quite dead, either.

Locke could die, but maybe because of the island's calling, his body won't decompose like a normal human body would. We saw Jack putting the shoes on Locke's feet in the coffin, and when I watched that scene I couldn't help but think of the many times in Six Feet Under when they went to move a limb of a corpse and it was so stiff with rigor mortis it made a cracking sound. Locke's legs move without any issues. Perhaps he was hanging in that room for a very long time -- months, even -- before he was found, and in the meantime Ben talked to Eloise Hawking, got everything ready, made his plans, and then Walt found the body and reported it (hence the "teenage son" part of the obit) and we know the rest from there. But there's a chance that body hung there for a long time.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My New Cover!!!... and Other Lost Stuff

So this morning I logged on and found 32 comments on my blog on last night's episode already (!) and was very happy, and among the comments was an email to me from someone telling me something I'd missed. So I went into the post and tried updating it, Blogger went kablooey, and removed my post completely. Now, I type up my posts in a separate Word document, so that wasn't the worry, but I suddenly envisioned all those lovely comments gone forever. Then I hit publish on the draft post, and boom, it was back up. With comments attached. Phew... Talk about a bad way to start my day.

I hope you've been heading over to Jorge Garcia's blog, like I mentioned last week. It is SO much fun; I've been reading it for months. In case you've missed some of his more entertaining Lost-related posts recently, here's one where he talks about the 100th episode cake they had made for the show, and another with a pic of him standing on Eloise Hawking's pendulum. Perhaps we'll be getting an ep with Hurley talking to Eloise?

So, as usual, you guys are the most perceptive group of people a gal could possibly dream of chatting about Lost with. Love the comments, good and bad, about this week's episode. And on that note, my column is up on DocArzt's site (along with a very alarming post about a certain character leaving the show, which made my jaw hit my desk until the update on the bottom said it turns out the report was completely false. I'd only opened the thing in the first place because it said it wasn't exactly a spoiler, and for a minute I thought I'd been horribly tricked, until the false part made me breathe a little more easily. But I'd suggest you avoid that one, just in case...) I discuss possible continuity errors with the end of season 3, and compare the Ben/Widmore scene in "Shape of Things" to the Locke/Widmore scene in this episode. (After I post my Lost blog on Wednesday nights I make a few quick notes about what I'll write my column about the next day, and it never fails to be touched on at some point by you guys before I even have it posted... you guys seriously rock.)

The Fine Brothers have posted their latest Lost parody. You can see it here. Unfortunately they've moved off YouTube and onto a streaming site, so there are some buffering issues. I also wish they'd just made the Joker the Joker, and not Heath... but it's still pretty funny.

And finally, I posted a note a couple of weeks ago asking anyone for cover ideas for my upcoming season 5 book, which will be out in November. SO many people emailed me their fantastic ideas, and I had visions of chalkboards and pendulums and city skylines and islands and compasses dancing in my head. But then one reader, Barry Johnson, emailed me his design (he wasn't the only one who did an actual mockup) and it was pretty much exactly what I wanted. While he had a version of the Frozen Donkey Wheel in the middle, the publisher has changed it to a compass (the wheel was looking too much like a ship's steering wheel) but otherwise, Barry was right on the money. I want to thank everyone for sending me your ideas; I'll give you all shout-outs in the book. And now, without any further ado, my new cover!:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lost 5.07: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

“...there’s a war coming, John. And if you’re not back on the island when that happens, the wrong side is going to win.”

The War: Widmore vs. Ben?
So who's the good guy and who's the bad guy? Are there clear sides? Are they both bad?

I loved the scene with Widmore sitting by John's hospital bed. Why did John Locke make such a huge impact on Widmore when he was 17? He was hostile to Locke, and John talked only to Alpert. Presumably the flash happened, Locke disappeared, and Widmore was as gobsmacked as the rest of them. If he was really on the island for 30 years as he says he was, then Alpert, who would have been tracking Locke’s life, might have been passing on information to him and he’d been following John’s life as closely as Alpert had been.

I said way back in “The Shape of Things to Come” that if you watch that end scene between Widmore and Ben as if Widmore is the good guy, it’s a very different scene than the one we think we’re watching initially (my season 4 Finding Lost book has a very long section on that one scene; I think it’s one of the most essential scenes in the series so far). What if Widmore really is the good guy? He appears to be helping Locke, while Ben is the guy strangling Locke with a cord. Not exactly helping Ben’s case. Or is this all a set-up to make us think Widmore could be the good guy, and it really is Ben?

By the end of the episode, I couldn’t help but worry that poor Locke is just a pawn – no, maybe a knight – in the game of chess that Ben and Widmore are playing. Widmore says he sent his freighter to the island to wipe out Ben so that Locke could lead. Ben says he moved the island so that Widmore couldn’t find the island so that Locke could lead. They’re both saying the very things that Locke wants to hear. They both give him just enough hints to get him on-side, and confuse the hell out of him. Locke has no idea who to be loyal to... who would?

Who is this guy?! He tells Locke that if he doesn’t step up his game, “we’re all in serious trouble.” His words sound very similar to Eloise Hawking’s, when she says, “God help us all.” They both speak as if they’re part of a larger group of people who are entirely dependent on the actions of others to help them out. “I help people get to where they need to get to,” he says to John. Is he some sort of shepherding angel?

“Here, John... Let Me Help You”
Ben’s behaviour at the end was baffling. He does whatever he can to get John off that table, to not commit suicide, only to finish John off himself. Does he believe in some destiny where Locke can only make it back to the island if he’s murdered, not if he takes his own life? He seems to turn when Locke mentions Jin. Watch the facial expressions, the body language, completely change once he mentions Jin. How would Ben even know Jin was dead? He zipped off the island before he knew exactly what happened on that freighter. Has he been watching Sun and knows she’s in mourning, and figured it out that way? But then he still walks John over to a chair and tells him they’ll find the others... and then John mentions Eloise Hawking. And Ben snaps completely and that's the end of John. What just happened? At the very end, as Ben closes the door and tells Locke that he’ll really miss him, it seems genuine. I know that Ben has a connection with Locke, but I still can’t quite figure it out.

• “Written by Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof.” EEEE!!!
• Abaddon standing behind that curtain in the “ER.” (Resetting the leg caused both my husband and I to grimace and moan loudly. Good God.)
• Jeremy Bentham is a Canadian!! Ha! The show has a long line of in-jokes where any suggestion of evil is Canadian. But on a practical side, Widmore probably figured he could travel more under the radar being a Canuck. (Like that time I was at Windsor Castle in England. I walked up and asked a Brit if he could take a photo of my friend and I standing with one of the guards. Man just stood there, arms crossed, never moved, and said, “Where ya from?” I said, “I’m from Toronto,” and he immediately uncrossed his arms, a huge smile came across his face, and he said of course he’ll take my picture. He said to me afterwards that if I’d said I was American, he would have simply walked in the other direction. Apparently they’re still a little touchy about the war....) ;)
• Widmore: “Your parents had a sense of humor when they named you, so why can’t I?” LOL!!
• Locke telling Jack that his father says hello. This explains why Jack starts seeing visions of Christian.

Hurley’s Numbers:
On the car the Arab men are driving in the desert, the license plate has a 42 in it. It’s been 4 days since Locke saw Widmore as a young man. Widmore gives Locke a phone, and if Locke needs to reach him, he just needs to dial 23. There’s a 42 in Abaddon’s license plate in Santo Domingo, too. Helen died on 4/8.

Did You Notice?:
• Ilana looks a lot like Ana Lucia. But her attitude is very different.
• When Caesar is in the rec room in New Otherton, there’s a skull on the desk that looks like a miniature verison of the polar bear skull that Charlotte found in Tunisia. There’s also a Life Magazine on the desk with the cover story, “Color Pictures of the Hydrogen Test.”
• In the morning we see John standing on the beach staring out at the water. For the first few episodes of season 1, he just sat on the beach staring out at the water, even when it started raining.
• They’re on a different part of the island; you can see the second island from this beach, and you couldn’t see it from the survivor’s beach.
• Ilana gives John a mango and he eats it on the beach. In the pilot episode, he’s eating an orange.
• When John teleports to Tunisia, his body has the same physical reaction as Ben’s did in “The Shape of Things to Come.” He lies prostrate, and then rolls over and vomits.
• Just as many of us predicted in season 4, it seems that there’s some sort of wormhole from the island to this spot in the desert in Tunisia. So I’m thinking one of the polar bears stepped too close to the wormhole at some point and zipped to this spot in the desert, and that’s how Charlotte found the polar bear skeleton in “Confirmed Dead” wearing the Dharma collar.
• There appears to be a Brahman symbol on the license plate of the car that picks up John in the desert.
• John’s passport has him born on February 15, 1948. That’s 8 years earlier than his actual birthday, which is in 1956.
• Oops: the Canadian passport has an expiry date 10 years after issue. But Canadian passports are only good for 5 years. They got the big red maple leaf right, but there are two other leaves in the upper righthand corner and another one on its side in the lefthand corner (just went and checked my own to be sure).
• The passport says he was born in New York. So THAT would explain why his obituary said he was from New York City! It doesn’t explain why it said he had a teenage son, though.
• Widmore reassures Locke that he will not let anything happen to him, but he apparently doesn’t save him from Ben.
• Abaddon had to have known the impact him pulling that wheelchair out of the car would have had on John. He didn’t have a crutch?
• When Abaddon is driving John in the car, they come upon some goatherders. Near them is a sign that appears to say “Noire.” It made me think of the term “bête noire,” which means “dark beast.” A reference to the smoke monster, perhaps?
• On the building that Sayid is fixing up, the 9 times table is written on the side, up to 4. Interestingly, Sayid spent 9 months with Nadia.
• We get Helen’s surname for the first time. I wondered if there was any significance, but the only thing I could come up with was the anagram of her last name, Norwood: “Donor. Ow.” D'oh.
• Walt, that OTHER special person on the island, senses Locke’s presence before he sees him.
• Locke talks to Walt in front of Southfield’s auction house. In “The Constant,” Widmore was in Southfield’s in England, where he was buying the journal of the first mate of the Black Rock.
• Hurley is painting a picture of the Sphinx. The last time we saw him painting in the yard of the institution, he’s painting an igloo. From igloos to deserts...
• I was extremely sad when they cut to a cemetery when Locke said he wanted to see Helen.
• Abaddon says that Helen is right where she’s supposed to be. That’s what Christian said about Aaron.
• The Bonneville of Death is back!!! Well, OK, I couldn’t see if it was the Bonneville, but it was definitely a tan car that LOOKED like a Bonneville that hits Locke the second time. (This is the car that hit Kate, hit Michael, hit Locke in the parking lot, and has been involved in most accidents on the show.)
• Jack is just at the beginning of the downward spiral (and the beginning of the hideous beard) when he’s talking to Locke. Say what you want about Jack (and I know, I do) but Matthew Fox is a hell of an actor. He’s amazing in this scene. He's slurring his words at the beginning, so we know he’s been drinking, and his fury is SO great throughout the scene he acts like it’s taking every ounce of strength not to reach over and snap Locke’s neck.
• Westerfield Hotel can be anagrammed to “Die Where Felt Lost.”
• Locke bought his suicide cord from “Angels Hardware.”
• I thought Locke’s insistence that he is a failure who can’t lead, can’t do anything, was heartbreaking, especially since we know what a difficult life he’s had.

So Many Questions...
• How long ago did the plane crash? Has it been there for a couple of days, or did it crash just a few hours before we see Caesar flipping through records in the beginning?
• What does Caesar know about the island? He looks through the records in New Otherton like someone looking for something specific. Ilana also appeared to know about things. Considering it took the survivors months to even know there were other people on the island, much less find the barracks, it seems strange this guy went straight to the spot.
UPDATE: One of my readers, Jim, just emailed me to say the ABC site is confirming that the plane, in fact, landed on the Hydra island, so they're looking at the bigger island from the beach. Duh. I can't believe I didn't figure that one out. So Caesar's not rifling through the rec room in New Otherton, but the office on the island where Kate, Jack, and Sawyer were held captive. (Thanks also to the readers who left similar theories in the comments already!)
• Why did Caesar hide the gun from Ilana? How do they know each other? Ilana refers to someone named Roxanne like she’s also someone they’ve known for a long time (the survivors weren’t really on a first-name basis for the first couple of days).
• Ilana says “the pilot and some woman” took one of the boats in the middle of the night. Since Kate is with the others, the other woman must have been Sun. Where were they going? To the other side of the island? Why does Sun trust Lapidus after he's the one who flew away in the helicopter?
• What happened to the plane? It's just sitting on the beach, doesn't look like it crashed or anything. It's not smouldering, it's not in pieces, it's just sitting there like it set itself down gently. Were Kate, Jack, and Hurley sent to another era? Or are they all in the 1970s or whatever time that was when Jin came bombing along in the new and shiny VW van? If they're in an earlier incarnation of the island, does Ben run the risk of meeting his younger self?
• Was Penny born on the island? I would hazard a guess that she’s probably about 30, and if Widmore was on the island until he was about 47, he can’t possibly be 77 now. So that would suggest that she’s been on the island before.
• Did Sayid join this Habitat for Humanity-type project to atone for his sins?
• Was anyone else terrified that Locke might mention to Sayid that he’s working with Widmore? Eek.
• So. Back in season 4, I nitpicked the fact that Kate, Jack, Sayid, and Hurley all referred to Locke as Jeremy Bentham. I said even if they had been told to refer to him that way as some sort of secret code, they still would have called him Locke when they were just amongst themselves. BUT... in this episode, the only person he seems to mention the name to is Sayid, and it’s off-handedly, saying he’s using that name in his hotel room. He never insists that Sayid use that name, or say it’s a secret or they’re being watched or anything. Locke never even gets as far as names when he’s talking to Hurley. So, again I ask: Why is everyone calling him Bentham at the end of season 4, other than just a plot device to keep the big surprise at the end?
• Is Walt’s dream prophetic? John is wearing a suit and people around him want to hurt him. Will that happen now that he’s back on the island and wearing a suit?
• John was told to bring everyone back. Why does he not push for Walt? He’s made a huge sacrifice to come back, but I thought in this episode we’d find out once and for all why Walt was not one of the people needed. But it seems that John just didn’t have the heart to bring him back, not that he realized the island didn’t need him.
• Kate tells John that he was desperate to stay on the island because he didn’t love anyone. What does she mean by that? Is she referring to her own needs? Is she in love with Jack and that’s why she left the island? Is she in love with someone off the island? Is she in love with Sawyer? (In which case, wouldn’t that make her want to STAY on the island?)

Next week: Maybe we’ll find out.

While You Wait for Lost...

I know you're on here early waiting for my blog post to go up on tonight's Lost, so while you wait, check out this HILARIOUS thread on Reddit. It all started when someone posted the following line: "If you watch Jaws backwards, it's a movie about a shark that keeps throwing up people until they have to open a beach." So other people have been posting their ideas. Some of my faves:

If you watch Rambo backwards, it's Sylvester Stallone healing people with his magical bullet vacuum.

If you watch Scarface backwards, it's about a man who gives up cocaine and crime to follow his dream of becoming a dishwasher to earn enough money so he can visit Cuba.

If you watch LOST backwards you realize it's the same thing as if you would watch if forward.

If you watch Heroes backwards you realise that it's been getting progressively better over time.

If you watch Firefly backwards you realize that Fox executives are still a bunch of retarded assholes.

Check out the complete thread here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dollhouse 1.02: The Target

I know I’m really late to the party on this one. I watched the first half of Dollhouse on Friday night before going to bed, but had a really bad headache and couldn’t finish it (and, to be honest, it was kinda scary!) Then I typically stay off the blog for the weekend for the most part, and I took yesterday off, and shopped. So here I am, probably saying things everyone else has been saying already.

There were a few comments about the opening theme music last week, and after two weeks of this, I have to say, I completely agree. I really dislike it. I dislike the music, the images, everything. I miss the soulful cello that opened the Angel theme song, or that creepy organ music and loud guitars of the Buffy theme. I was never a huge fan of the Firefly theme (please don’t hate me, Browncoats!!) but it worked perfectly with the series, and gave it exactly the feeling it needed. This song? I dunno… and shots of Eliza seductively pulling up her stockings just aren’t doing it for me, and seem to be sending out the wrong message.

What is that message? I really think something that will need to be addressed on the show (SOON) is that Echo is basically a highly paid prostitute. And I’m uncomfortable with that. Her mind is being frakked with, her body is being used, her emotions are played with. I’m hoping this can only go on for a few more episodes before she starts taking control of her life. But then again, that’s probably the point of the show. Joss could be sending out a powerful message about women as objects, and while we sit at home on our couches, cringing that she’s being chased through the woods as a human target by some psychopath with a bow and arrow, this could be a statement about women in general. But what that is, I haven’t quite figured out yet.

I don’t want to become that person that a few non-Buffy viewers have accused me of being on this blog. I’ve gotten some posts from people asking what is wrong with Buffy fans, that we’re just lemmings who will follow Joss Whedon to the ends of the earth. Well, it’s because he created Buffy. He moved us in ways we’d never been moved before, certainly not by a television show. He made me cry, he made my chest and stomach ache, he made me laugh, he changed the way I talk. (You know you ALL say, “Oops, my bad” when you do something wrong now… admit it…. I turn all sorts of nouns into adjectives by adding a y on the end of them.) Then Angel got off to a bit of a bumpy start, but he ripped my heart out, threw it onto the floor, and laughed an evil laugh over my heartbreak as Wesley slipped deeper and deeper into himself, as Fred was eviscerated, as Gunn had his heart torn from his body, as Doyle died. And then Firefly came along. I wasn’t as emotionally attached to it in the beginning, mostly because of Fox (DAMN YOU, FOX) refusing to allow me to get attached by botching up the episode order. But now it’s a rich, deep, beautiful series. One that we all wish was a LOT longer.

And then came Dollhouse. I haven’t been this excited about a TV show since… jeez, I don’t know when. And the first episode had a lot of potential. The second episode was really good – my heart was pounding as Echo was running through the woods being hunted, and her handler was losing the signal in his van. But I’m already hearing people saying they don’t get it, they gave it the two episodes and that’s it, and they’re outta here.

Whenever I start a newbie onto Buffy, I give them season 1 and assure them to stick with it… and if you can get to the middle of season 2, you’ll be hooked. Only one person watched right to the end of season 2, “Becoming, Part 2,” and then said, “Meh. I don’t really want to see any more.” (Yes, he said that after THAT episode… you know who you are, I know you’re reading this right now, you.) ;)

I think what is missing is the Joss Whedon wit. I keep waiting for a line that will be SO over-the-top hilarious I won’t stop laughing. But nothing. There’s barely been even a smile on my face. I get the darkness, now PLEASE, Joss, give me some light.

What I am starting to notice, however, are distinct similarities between this show and Buffy. (I know… poor Joss… he’ll never be able to escape that.) In the woods, the fight between Echo and Psycho Boy on the ground was just like Buffy fighting a vampire. Right up to the guy almost choking her and then Echo/Buffy grabbing an arrow/stake and putting it in his neck (notice that just like Buffy would have put it in and pulled it right back out, Echo did the same thing, rather than leaving the arrow in his neck). The only difference: the guy doesn’t disappear, but stays behind to wreak some more emotional damage.

Boyd is like Giles, the man worried about his charge, becoming emotionally invested in her as if she were his child. The Dollhouse is like a larger and more present Watcher’s Council, forcing Echo to do these things as if it were a calling. The difference: Buffy was chosen; Echo apparently chose this life. But she just doesn’t know it. (And just like the Watcher’s Council, Adelle is a Brit. Ooh, you nasty, evil Brits!!)

I’m intrigued by that extremely jarring scene at the end of the first episode where we saw two dead people on the floor and someone watching a video of Echo. This is obviously the overarching plot that Joss is working toward. And they’ve introduced the horror of Alpha, the rogue doll who tore up the place but left Echo alone (until now). I’m wondering if he could be the season 1 baddie that eats it in the end, or if he’ll be an ongoing thing.

Someone pointed out last week that the names of the dolls are from the International Radio Operators Alphabet. Here’s the alphabet, so we can see what future characters will be named. We’ve already got Alpha, Echo, Victor, and Sierra:

What were your thoughts? Please tell me you’re going to stick with it, too! I believe in Joss, and I wonder if Fox is watering down the initial episodes. Here’s hoping his trademark sense of humour will be back soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscars 2008

I hate them. They're obnoxious and arrogant and overblown... but the Academy Awards are like a car accident. Actually, no. Because not only can I not look away, I celebrate them, hold parties, have the Oscar pool... I guess I overlook the glitz so I can enjoy celebrating the movies, even if I didn't think the best films were nominated in the right categories.

Last night's award show was a pleaser, I thought. Hugh Jackman carried off the hosting duties with aplomb. He was funny, gracious, and dashing ("I am Wolveriiiiiine!!!") I actually really liked the way they presented the acting awards, though my husband thought it went on way too long. Yes, I could have done without that giant overblown number with Beyonce (GAWD...) and a few of the montages, but the evening had a LOT of highlights:

-James Franco and Seth Rogan doing their bit about comedies. When they're dying with laughter while watching Doubt and The Reader, I was laughing just as much.
-Ben Stiller. I'm sure some people will say that was unsympathetic and awkward, but I thought was hilarious. And I'm one of the people who feels very sorry for Joaquin Phoenix. If you didn't know what he was riffing on, go here.
-The Japanese man who accepted his award and said, "Domo arigoto, Mister Roboto." HA!!!
-Tina Fey (LOOOOVE!!) and Steve Martin (LOOOOOOOOOOOVE!) presenting the Oscars for screenplays. And their riff on Scientology. Since it's not a real religion, it was funny, unlike Bill Maher (see below).
-the guy from Man on Wire balancing the Oscar on his chin
-Sean Penn's acceptance speech. WOW.
-Jackman's recession-friendly opening number. When he was moving the little plastic baby's arms, I was killing myself laughing. It was topped only by the electronica song that accompanied The Reader, which was baffling until he explained he hadn't seen it. HAHAHA!!
-the Ledgers on stage accepting the award on behalf of their son. What a valiant thing they had to do. I don't know if I could have done it.
-the Slumdog Cinderella story. This is a film that less than a year ago had no distributor and was about to go straight to DVD. Could you imagine? Although, I love that the feel-good film of the year involves child prostitution and severe physical abuse... yet I practically danced out of the theatre. What other movie could do that?

-Bill freakin' Maher. HOW I HATE YOU. Hate hate hate hate. This is one of those annoying, talentless people who exists only to stir up the hatred and anger and vitriol in others. I hate that I've taken the bait (he would be laughing if he read this, I'm sure) but when he referred a year ago to breastfeeding mothers as narcissistic dogs, I had no more time for him. Asshole. I couldn't believe he brought up religion like that. Notice the silence in the room when he said it? Way to bring down the happy tone of the night. Could the Academy please make sure he is never invited back??
-for a moment, Mickey Rourke not winning best actor. I was so upset. I wanted him to win it so badly. Sean Penn was brilliant as Milk, but he was even better in Dead Man Walking, and Rourke will probably never be better than he was in The Wrestler. It was a career-topping role. But then Penn got up, said what he did about the protesters (which I didn't even know about, and found that very sad) and Prop 8, and then gave props to Rourke, and I loved him. I'm so happy he won.

Questions: Where was Jack Nicholson?
Why so much screen time to Zac Efron? The guy's adorable, but... the Oscars? Really?
Was Beyoncé lip-synching? This was a big discussion in our house.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lost "316": The Proxy Effect

In "316" Eloise Hawking tells Jack that Locke will be the proxy for someone. Jack, usually slow on the uptake, asks who? If Locke is a dead body in a box and is a proxy for someone who was on the plane with me the first time around, who could that possibly be? Um...

It's gotten me thinking about what the other proxies are. Hawking says they have to recreate the circumstances of the first flight. Not necessarily the people on the flight, but the circumstances. In other words, while Jack is still playing himself, escorting a body in a box (that will not be in the box when they land on the island), Kate isn't necessarily playing the part of herself. I suggested on my DocArzt post yesterday that Kate could have gotten herself pregnant to play the part of Claire. Maybe in doing so, she was told she'd be protecting Aaron. "Get on that plane with an embryo inside of you that is subbing in for Aaron, and he'll be OK."

I suggested Hurley was carrying the guitar maybe in the hopes that he'd see Charlie on the island again (I still believe that it was Charlie who told him to get on the plane). What I didn't think of was that the guitar could be the stand-in, so to speak, for Charlie himself. After all, Charlie was pretty much an immovable object that had music coming out of it when he got on the plane, because he was so stoned he didn't know where he was half the time.

So what if Sayid is actually playing the part of Kate? She's got to be Claire for now, so Sayid is Kate, being escorted by a federal marshal. Maybe there's another person on the plane who used to be a torturer or who was in love with a childhood sweetheart who could sub for Sayid. Lapidus is subbing in for Matt Parkman.

Could Ben be Locke? Locke couldn't walk, Ben has a broken arm. Or is Ben something outside of all of this?

Hurley bought 78 seats. Why 78? Could it be significant beyond just being what was left in the plane? There were 48 survivors from the front section, and 23 from the tail. That adds up to 71. And the Oceanic survivors are all acting as proxies, plus you have the actual people in the coach section of the plane. Could the 78 seats represent the people who were still strapped in the plane, hanging upside down when it crashed onto the beach? Are those seats proxies for the ghosts?

One person commented on the DocArzt blog that he thinks Aaron is in a dog carrier in the cargo area of the plane as a proxy for Vincent. EVIL. (I laughed for about a solid minute after reading that... OK, I'm still laughing...)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lost 5.06: 316

“That’s why it’s called a leap of faith, Jack.”

So... you’re about to get on a plane that you KNOW is going to crash. Would anyone else run screaming from it at the last minute because they couldn't go through that trauma again? Or have a full-scale anxiety attack in the air, forcing the flight attendants to sedate you heavily? Anyone? Just me?


Here’s my one-word review of this week’s episode:
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE. Love love love love love.

Sigh. Love.

Hm. I guess this is why newspapers haven’t hired me to review yet.

Everything has happened before, and will happen again
How much did I love that opening, with Jack waking up in the bamboo, the same eerie music, the same wind, the same calls for help. I had no idea it was going to turn out to be anything other than a re-creation of the pilot episode, until he got to the cliff. I thought, “Huh. The pilot episode always made it look like he came out of the trees and right onto the beach. And hey... wasn’t Hurley on the beach?” AWESOME. I know some people don’t like to be manipulated by their TV, but I LOVE it.

So is Eloise part of the DI? It stands to reason the DI would have a station off the island. She gives her little lecture (even chastising Jack for not listening, ha!) and it was fantastic, and explained so much. So THAT is why the plane happened to go down. THAT is how these people were chosen and they knew it would crash on that island. How the DI got all of them on the plane in the first place is still up in the air, but we’ll probably find out.

UPDATE: Just realized I missed talking about one thing: Sun. Last week my brother (who I think watches the show just so he can email me the next day to pick it apart and talk about how stupid it is) emailed me to say, "Oh come ON! Why is Sun going to the island because Ben the Liar told her Jin was there? She's seriously going to abandon her kid to do this?!" and I said, oh ye of little faith... she hasn't said she's going anywhere, she's simply accompanying Ben to the church to see the person with the proof. But she hasn't agreed to go anywhere. A mother isn't going to abandon her kid that quickly, not even for her husband-who-was-dead-and-is-maybe-now-alive-according-to-a-lying-liar.

Well... I was wrong. She just dropped everything and is on that plane. I found that very odd. I know she's madly in love with Jin, but dumping Ji Yeon and possibly never seeing her again, allowing that child to be raised by the PAIKS?! Uh...

• Jack asking Eloise if Ben is telling the truth, and her response: “Probably not.”
• Jack changing Locke’s shoes and talking to him. Even in death, John is still getting to him.
• Hurley reading the comic, Y: The Last Man... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! (The comic is written by Brian K. Vaughan, one of the writers on Lost.)
• Hurley buying 78 seats. I love him.
• FRANK LAPIDUS!!!! I SO did not see that coming. I was screaming and laughing all at once.
• Jack: “How can you read?” Ben: “Because my mother taught me.” LOL!!! (Also, I love that even his jokes are complete lies, since his mother didn’t teach him.)
• Jack’s reaction to Locke’s note. The words are so simple, yet so true, and Jack reacts to them like he’s been punched in the gut.
• Jin Workman!

Hurley’s Numbers:
After the opening, it goes back to 46 hours earlier. That’s 23 times 2. When we see the latitude/longitude numbers on the wall of the Lamppost Station, every number is there but 8.

Did You Notice?:
• The episode was called 316 because of the flight number, but interestingly, episode 3.16 is “One of Us,” which might be important for the title.
• Eloise holds out a picture of the island, dated September 23, 1954, which is one day less than 50 years exactly before Oceanic 815 crashed on September 22, 2004. Could the date on the photo be an indication of WHEN they landed on the island?
• Was anyone else waiting for that pendulum to clock Desmond in the stomach and send him sailing across the station? Man, that guy could move around that area with deftness. With grace like that, I’d like to see him on the dance floor.
• Jack wouldn’t believe in the existence of a rock if Locke was the one who had pointed it out to him, and now the guy is hanging on every one of Eloise’s words.
• Eloise barely registers anything on her face when Desmond tells her he was sent by Daniel. Either she already knew or she didn’t care. I can’t wait to find out which it is.
• Desmond announces to the room that he’d already met Eloise and she’d sent him to the island, and yet no one says, “What? Tell me more.” They just assume he’s a lunatic.
• When Desmond is all wide-eyed and crazy and telling everyone he’s done with the island, one of his eyes looked bigger than the other.
• In Eloise’s office, one of Charlie’s Virgin Mary heroin statues was standing on her desk (the arms seemed spread open a little wider, so maybe it’s not an exact copy).
• And... now we know why Christian Shephard was wearing those stupid tennis shoes all this time.
• Eloise tells Jack he needs to give Locke something of Christian’s whether he believes in it or not, and says, “That’s why it’s called a leap of faith, Jack.” In the season 2 episode, “Orientation,” Locke keeps sitting outside his father’s house in a car. Helen comes to the car when she follows him and says he must stop following his father and he has to choose between Cooper and her. Locke says he doesn’t know how to do it. Helen says we never know what’s going to happen, but we do things anyway, and says, “That’s why it’s called a leap of faith.” At the end of that episode, Locke convinces Jack they need to keep pushing the button, and says it’s a leap of faith.
• Ben makes a connection between Doubting Thomas and Jack, that Jack needs to be convinced of things and can’t go on faith. Interesting that “Thomas” and its diminutives is probably the most common name used on the show:
-Thomas was the name of Claire’s deadbeat boyfriend, and he’s the father of Aaron
-Tom was one of the Others
-Tommy was Charlie’s drug dealer
-Tom was Kate’s childhood sweetheart who owned the toy plane
-Tom Sawyer was one of Anthony Cooper’s aliases
-When Ana Lucia and Christian are in Australia, he calls her Sarah and she calls him Tom

• When the magician in the nursing home pulled the towel off the rabbit, was anyone else checking to see if it had a number on it?
• Jack’s grandfather is very much like Kate: always on the run and never wanting to stay in one place.
• On the one hand, the Jaters will be going nuts after this episode, but I think the Skaters will have a good case in this one, too. Notice how distant Kate is the day after she sleeps with Jack. She acts like she’d rather be anywhere but there. The gal is nothing if not consistent in her inconstancy. (I subscribe to neither ship, by the way.)
• When Ben is on the payphone you can see stickers for “Long Beach” and “Big Oyster.” CLUES?! Bah. Probably not. (Though the anagram of Big Oyster is Gibe Story... but with that face could Ben have been lying?)
• Even in death... Locke has five o’clock shadow.
• Clearly the man who offers his condolences to Jack and the woman escorting Sayid will be on the island, or the camera wouldn’t have spent so much time focusing on the two of them.
• By the look on Hurley’s face when he first sees Jack at the airport, he can’t trust Jack further than he can throw him.
• Hurley won’t say how he knew about the flight, and he’s carrying a guitar. I think it’s safe to say Charlie was the one who told him, and he’s bringing a guitar to the island in the faint hope that Charlie might be there, still alive.
• Jack and Kate have a conversation on the plane where Jack talks about how he thinks they’re fated to all be on the plane together, and she tells him that this happened because it happened. He’s officially become Locke, and she’s Jack.
• I love that Jeff Fahey looked more like his usual clean-shaven self. Every time I showed people a picture of what he really looks like, they couldn’t believe it was him. I wanted a pic of him looking like that in my season 4 book, but my editor thought it was too creepy. LOL!
• I was praying that Darlton were kidding about Ulysses, so I’ve only read a few pages of it. DAMMIT.
• When Ben says he didn’t know that Locke had committed suicide, you can tell he’s totally lying.

So Many Questions...
• After the opening, we zip back 46 hours. Then Eloise says the window closes in 36 hours. Since we know they didn’t stand at the opening of the church for 10 hours, why the discrepancy? (And if you’re going to say that maybe Jack was unconscious for 10 hours on the island, I doubt Hurley could have been unconscious in the lagoon that long.)
• The island isn’t done with Desmond yet. (The island and I officially have something in common!) So what is his purpose in all of this?
• Is Ben a religious person at all, or is he just playing the part while he’s in the church?
• Ben says he’s meeting with an old friend and he just has some loose ends that need tying up. Who the hell was the old friend, and what happened to him? Could this have anything to do with Widmore? Was it Sayid?
• Why does Jack have an old tape-to-tape deck in his bedroom? (Did anyone else think it looked like a face when he walked in?)
• It’s strange that we see Ray all of a sudden when we’d never seen him before. He seems a little creepy himself. If Christian is some sort of mystical prophet, could Ray be someone special, too? Is he a catalyst to help get Jack to the island this time?
• If Kate is with Jack, where is Aaron? What happened to her after she left the marina? You’d think after the night she’d had, she would have held onto Aaron and never let him go again. The fact she avoids the question completely and tells Jack never to ask her that again suggests something really weird happened. Did Claire visit her again? With Christian? Who has him?
• Why is Sayid handcuffed to an agent?
• Frank is flying the plane, and he said in “Confirmed Dead” that he was supposed to have been flying Flight 815. Is his presence some sort of karma, and by going back to the island the “right” way, they can right all the wrongs that happened the first time?
• What exactly happens to the plane? Could they have been sucked off the plane somehow and it didn’t really crash, or did all of them go down in that? They’ve clearly gone back in time (see: Jin).
• Does Jin know who they are, or did they land somewhere in the 50s and Jin’s always been on the island? Was that a time-travelling Jin, or has he always been on the island, but doesn’t remember it?

Next week: Locke is alive (duh) and we see Bentham and what happened to Locke between leaving the island with one broken leg and returning in a pine box. I guess Ben’s little analogy about Doubting Thomas could become literal if Jack sticks his fingers in Locke’s stigmata. (Whoa. That sounded dirtier than I meant it to.)

UPDATE: If you don't yet read Jorge Garcia's blog, you should. It's SO funny, and occasionally he actually talks about Lost. A couple of months ago he posted something saying he'd gotten a memo from production saying he'd be "starting wet" and knew he'd be in the water most of the day. Turns out, "316" was the episode he was referring to. So in today's post, he's put up photos of him in the water filming the scene.

UPDATE #2: My DocArzt column just went live here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dollhouse 1.01: Ghost

I have been waiting for this moment on my television since May 2004:

Written and directed by Joss Whedon

I think the squee that emitted from me (and seriously, it was a "Squeeeee!" sound) could be heard down the street.

Not only was I excited to see Joss's name, but Tim Minear's, Kelly A. Manners, Stephen S. DeKnight, Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain... it was like a dream reunion. Here's hoping the reunion will eventually attract David Fury, Marti Noxon, David Greenwalt, Jane Espenson, Drew Z. Greenberg, Drew Goddard... I could go on and on. But enough about the geektasticness of the opening credits.

I REALLY liked the show. I can't say I was head over heels in love with it, but that's only because I'm not attached to these characters yet, and the overarching story isn't yet established, etc. You know what I think about Lost and Buffy and Angel, but none of them had me head over heels in love with them on their first episode, either.

I think this show has a ton of promise. Eliza Dushku is fabulous (my love for her was already immense, long before Echo). She's got that perfect tough-girl exterior, but with a fragile vulnerability that make it feel like she could be shattered at any moment. It's what made Faith one of the all-time great TV characters. Joss Whedon knew what he had in her, and thank goodness he's decided to hinge an entire series on her. She's fantastic.

And Amy Acker!! I can honestly say I've stayed away from all spoilers, and didn't know she'd be on, so I really loved seeing her (though I wish she'd been listed in the cast and not the guest credits... that doesn't bode well for the longevity of her character). Those slices across her face indicate a past that I can't wait to get into.

Did anyone else think the Dollhouse reminded her of Wolfram and Hart?? Maybe it was the wood panelling, maybe the lighting, maybe the levels, I don't know, but it felt sinister simply because of its resemblance to that other horrible institution.

I'm not sure I like Topher, the guy who mindwipes Echo. He seemed dull. I don't know if it's the actor's delivery of the lines or if it's the character itself, but he looked like Andrew on Buffy, but with the personality of Detective Kate on Angel. Dull. But I know Joss -- he's a careful caster, and I think there will be much more to this kid than meets the eye.

I'm intrigued by Boyd, the guy who accompanies her on the missions (there was a bit of an Alias element to all of this and he seems like the guy who might try to get her out of her situation), and Helo (bear with me... it'll take me a long time to call the guy "Paul"), who is hellbent on finding the Dollhouse.

But there was a deliberate confusion to a lot of this. Why is Helo trying to find the Dollhouse? How did he hear about it? Does he know someone on the inside? How long has Echo been with the organization? How did it get started?

These are the questions I can't wait to see answered. What did you think? Were you thrilled? Were you disappointed? Intrigued?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dollhouse!! Tonight!!

In honour of tonight's series premiere of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse, tonight at 9 on FOX (SQUEEEEEEE!), here's a very bad scan (I need a new scanner) of me with some guy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hello Designers...

No, this isn't Iman taking over on my blog (though I hope people are watching the Canadian Project Runway... Iman has managed to work in so many David Bowie references that I'm basically sitting there week after week begging them to get the man on the show!!) This is actually an appeal to Lost fans reading this. I need your help!

So here's the sitch: the cover of my season 5 book is due soon; it has to be designed months in advance of the book coming out, because it goes in the catalogue and then out to sites like Amazon for pre-orders. For season 4, the lateness of the book meant the season was actually completely finished, so the concept was easy. But I have to come up with a concept that encapsulates season 5... after only five episodes.

I've suggested using a jungle superimposed over a cityscape, but with the flash effect to make it look like it's about to time jump. I've suggested a compass where the watch was on the season 4 book. I've even suggested a frozen donkey wheel, but was told if we put that above the title it'll probably look like the steering wheel on a pirate ship. Ha! :)

So... I'm wondering if there's anyone out there with some ideas or design sense they could pass my way. What do you think should be on the cover? I wish I could go to the designer and say, "OK... I want something that would evoke people unstuck in time, and I need an idea of history repeating itself and reincarnation in there. And if you could... maybe a frozen donkey wheel?" But I just know the look I'll get for THAT one.

I've even joked with my editor about doing a shattered or skipping record... but I don't want to lose the casual fans with a reference that's so difficult only the diehards would get it. And it'll look like a collector's guide to old vinyl.

So if you have any thoughts, email me off-list. I'd love to hear them! :) I have no design sense whatsoever. (You should have seen the sketch of my idea I sent to my editor today... my 4-year-old looked at my palm trees with the frozen donkey wheel below it and asked why I had drawn a row of chickens with their bums sticking out. Sigh.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lost 5.05: This Place Is Death

Christian: “And since when did listening to [Ben] get you anywhere worth a damn?”

Heeeeee’s back!
Ah, Smokey. How I missed ya. Once again, Damon’s statement that whenever we see Smokey we’ll learn something more about him rings true. This time we actually see some sort of hiding place. I’m thinking it’s under the Temple where Alpert and the Others had been heading at the end of season 3 (and throughout season 4... come to think of it, it’s taking them an AWFULLY long time to get there). After Montand got pulled down, Smokey clearly mimicked his voice to draw the others down there and “change” them. Were they all killed below the Temple? Did Smokey create various manifestations of them to send back up? How is he choosing the ones to attack?

Rousseau’s backstory
Now we know how Montand lost his arm; what the “sickness” was; and why she deemed the smoke monster a security system on the island. The interesting thing is, she got that last tidbit of information from Zombie Richard, so was it reliable in any way? For a moment there after Nadine went missing, I wondered if Jin was going to suggest she was taken by the Others, and give Rousseau the very term that she gave back to them, creating a chicken and egg problem. The area where all the bad things happen to the team is what Rousseau later deems the dark Territory.

Charlotte’s past
Are there any inconsistencies with Charlotte’s backstory? She says she was on the island as a child, and then moved away. Last season we found out she was born in 1979. If she moved away when she was 7 or 8, it would have been in the late 1980s... around the same time Rousseau landed on the island. Ben killed his father in 1992, the date of the Purge. He came to the island in the early 1970s and lived there from that point on, so he would have had some memory of Charlotte, even if she’d just been a child. Why didn’t he say anything about that last season, and instead let on like he believed her backstory, that she’d been born in Essex, England? Season 5 opened with Pierre Chang putting on “Shotgun Willie” by Willie Nelson, a song from a 1973 album. So it couldn’t have been before that, but it could have been after that. The clothing he’s wearing suggests it’s still early 70s. We see them constructing the Orchid, because he goes down into it and passes by Daniel. SO... how did Charlotte know about the well? If she was born in 1979, but the Orchid had been built and the well destroyed in the early 70s, how could she have known about it?

I love the idea that Daniel tried to warn her. I’m thinking future Daniel (as in a Daniel 5 years or months or weeks older than the Daniel we know right now) will decide to go back in time and try to warn her, effectively trying to change history, the very thing he’s said they can’t do. Problem is, he can’t do that. Charlotte will always want to return to the island, and there’s nothing he can do to stop her.

• Sawyer telling Jin to turn around. Yay!
• Jin telling Charlotte to translate, and Sawyer thinking he means Miles. “You heard the man... TRANSLATE!” “Uh... he’s Korean. I’m from Encino.” HAHAHA!!
• Dan: “So... you speak any other languages?” Charlotte: “Just Klingon.”
• Sun: “You said we’d be there in 30 minutes.” Ben: “I didn’t account for traffic.”
• Ben’s outburst. Listening to holier-than-thou Jack and angrier-than-thou Sun would have been too much for anyone. His anger was so believable, I truly believe that he really has been keeping them safe from Widmore, even if he’s using them in his wascally weaselly way.
• Juliet jinxing their situation by showing her surprise that they’d end up in the same time as the Orchid station. Sawyer: “You just HAD to say something.”
• I loved the look on Locke’s face when Juliet thanks him for helping them. Could this be the first time someone has acknowledged that Locke is actually trying to help others? A lifetime of stupid mistakes and bad decisions flashes across his face as she offers her words of appreciation, and while it’s a quick moment, it was a huge one for him.
• I was never a huge fan of Charlotte (sorry, Brian), but her death scene was very, very sad. I’m happy knowing that, like Eko, her last conscious thought was a happy one from her childhood.
• Christian: “Say hello to my son.” Locke: “Who’s your son?!” Bloop.

Hurley’s Numbers:
Rousseau’s team left Tahiti on November 15. You hear the numbers being broadcast on Montand’s radio again (the same numbers that drew them too close to the island and caused the crash in the first place).

Did You Notice?:
• Between Montand’s arm and Locke’s leg, I’m thinking this is the goriest episode ever.
• We finally saw Ji Yeon. There’d been some speculation on the blog a few weeks ago about why we hadn’t seen her yet, but it looks like it was nothing more than there wasn’t a place for her yet.
• As Sun approaches Ben and company at the marina, she walks by a boat called the Illusion.
• Rousseau is wearing the same grey sweater we later see her wearing on the island. Though it’s a little more threadbare, it seems to have stood the test of time very well.
• Brennan carries an instrument case on his back through the jungle, just like Charlie carried his guitar case with him.
• Smokey stands up like a cobra in front of Montand before attacking him. When it grabs him, it appears to have two arms and a head. It still has that sound of the chain pulling a rollercoaster uphill.
• The Temple is covered in hieroglyphics, some of them the same as the red symbols that appeared in the Swan station when the countdown clock reached zero.
• Jin sees a plume of smoke in the distance. Rousseau had told Sayid that she’d seen a plume of smoke right before some people came and took her baby. Interestingly, this time the smoke is actually from her camp.
• Jin picks up the ballerina music box on the beach, the same one that Sayid will later fix for Rousseau when she’s holding him captive in “Solitary.”
• Danielle is a helluva shot.
• Poor Ben. He had five of the Oceanic 6, and lost Hurley. Then he was back up to five with Sun showing up, and suddenly he was down to two. Bummer.
• The river that Sawyer and Locke and everyone was following got really muddy and murky, as if there’d been a huge rainfall in the area.
• Charlotte keeps flipping back to her childhood and talking like a little girl, just like Theresa kept talking like a little girl, according to her sister.
• Charlotte loves Geronimo Jackson. Maybe they were the U2 of the Dharma Initiative. (And no, they’re not real, despite what Darlton have said.)
• You know, I’ve often wondered if Locke made some mistake about letting Ben turn the wheel. Eek.
• Christian refers to Locke having to die as a “sacrifice,” and there’s a moment where Locke suddenly realizes that he was a little flippant about the island demanding Boone as its sacrifice. Now it wants him. D’oh.
• The church where Hawking is looks exactly like the one they used for Christian’s memorial service.
• When Desmond says, “Are you looking for Faraday’s mother, too?” the look on Ben’s face suggests he has NO IDEA she’s any relation to him.
• Desmond totally knows who Hawking is the moment he sees her.

So Many Questions...
• What did Sun mean when she told Ji Yeon that she found a friend for her in America? Did she mean when Ji Yeon visited America? Or that she was planning on bringing him home?
• Jin say he knows where the radio tower is, but did he ever actually see it? He stayed behind on the beach when the rest of the people went over to it.
• I know this was asked last week, but why does Rousseau have no recollection of Jin when she first sees him?
• What happened to Robert, Lacombe, and Brennan? Are they zombie versions of themselves? Are they themselves but the smoke monster has gotten to them? Are they manifestations of the island? Are they really sick like Danielle thought they were? If they’re manifestations, then how could they die?
• Why did Robert’s gun not shoot? Did Rousseau remove the bullets from it, or did it jam the same way Michael’s did in “Meet Kevin Johnson”? Did the island need to keep Rousseau alive so Alex could be born?
• Charlotte reveals that she was on the island, and is now dying because she came back. Does that mean if the Oceanic Six returns to the island, they’ll all die, too? Why does the island not want Charlotte there?
• Until now, whenever Locke says “I give you my word,” he means it. But he looks right at Jin and tells him he promises not to bring Sun back. Does he mean it? I think he knows he has to bring her back one way or the other (notice he doesn’t give Sun the ring and tell her the lie Jin wants her to hear) and this might be the first time we see Locke willingly lie to someone.
• Is there a deeper meaning to Locke breaking his legs before leaving the island? Is he simply not meant to walk off the island?
• Just two episodes ago, Ms. Hawking suggests that if Ben doesn’t get EVERYONE to her immediately, “God help us all...” [Music swells, terror sets in....] And now she’s more like, “Jolly good, pip pip, let’s all to the batcaves!” Huh?

Next week:

UPDATE: My DocArzt post is now up. I removed the cheekiness. Let's hope I don't get called stupid over there again this week. ;) Thanks to Chuck Power for the quote!

Lost Haiku: The Little Prince

Here's some haiku in honour of last week's Lost episode. Six hours and counting!!

Three-two-three. Five-five
Five. Zero-one-five-six is
Jack’s cell phone number.

Did anyone catch
What’s on the side of Ben’s van?

“Trust me, Kate. When have
I failed you? Oh. Don’t mention
That. Or that. Or that.”

“Please don’t take Aaron,
I know he’s your grandkid, but...”
“Who’s Aaron?!” “Aw. Crap.”

“Hurry! Get the man
On the shore. Give him water.
How’d you get here?” “Boat.”

“My name is Rousseau.
My husband here is Robert.
Yes, he’s super hot.”

“Are you hurt? Where are
you from? How can we help you?
What’s your story?” “Boat.”

“No, don’t worry Kate.
It’s all okay. He’s with me.”
“Nope. I lied.” “Aw. Crap.”

“I put you through hell.
And now I will take Aaron.
Sorry about that.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Being Erica

I know I'm late to the game on this one, but I've been watching the CBC's new show, "Being Erica," since it began in January. And it's REALLY good.

Set in Toronto (you can play "name that Toronto landmark" as they wander around downtown), the show is about Erica Strange, a 32-year-old woman who has made a kajillion mistakes in her life, and wishes she could go back and change them. Poof... one day a man named Dr. Tom pulls her into his office (his office magically appears in various places, and she could walk into a bathroom and it's the interior of his office) and asks her to write down all her regrets. She fills several sheets of paper, but the most important one is that her younger brother didn't die.

And then, he sends her back in time to those moments to try to play them out again, seeing if she can make her current life any happier or more successful. In the first one, she returns to high school in the early 90s to go to her prom and NOT get crazy drunk and fall all over the place and have her boyfriend dump her (the guy she's been pining for ever since). In the second episode, she goes to university to try to get her best friend not to end up with the woman who will eventually break his heart. In each episode, she manages to right the wrong, but then screws up so colossally that she creates a new problem.

The episodes are really well written, the dialogue is sharp and funny, and while it feels very Canadian in some places, in other ways I could see this show being sold internationally and playing around the world, because it focuses on a universal topic: regret. But it's far from a depressing show; it's very funny. In one episode she goes back to a guy's house on the first date who seems like a good prospect, until he shows her his African mask collection on the wall and she sees the "Made in Taiwan" sticker on the back. She decides to overlook it, but when he's making out with her on the couch and she sees his "Dostoevsky for Idiots" guide on his bookshelf, she can't get out of there fast enough.

The most touching moments so far have been her encounters with her brother when she goes back to the past. She always has a longing in her eyes, and reaches out to touch him as if she just wants to hold onto him and not let him go. The actress who plays Erica, Erin Karpluk, is amazing, and is able to play 32 and 18 very easily.

I love this show because it's so realistic. I also love it because she's only a couple of years younger than me, so when she returns to university it's in the same era as my university days were. They play music of the time to trigger memories, and the music playing is the same music that would have been playing when I was that age.

The show has been on Mondays at 9, but has just moved to Wednesdays at 9pm (I know... I know.. blasphemy for Lost viewers) but if you have time-shifting or a PVR, watch Lost and record Being Erica. If you've missed the episodes so far (and live in Canada) go here to watch the first five and catch up. You will not be disappointed.

My New Favourite T-Shirt

This is what I wish the last two sentences of Twilight had been.

Interested in your own? You can buy them here. :)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Battlestar Galactica: Lost in Space

I think the last 10 episodes could be collectively titled "What To Do When You Find Earth... and It Totally Sucks." The first three eps back after a very long hiatus have been a rollercoaster.

**Warning: Spoilers ahead for the first three of the final ten episodes. Please turn back if you haven't watched them.**

In the first episode, Starbuck finds her corpse, which confirms to her that she's the last of the Final Five, and then Tigh wanders into the water, has a flash of memory and realizes that Ellen was actually the last of the Final Five. Who is correct? Are they both Cylons? Are neither of them Cylons? Or is it all leading up to a big reveal that we're all Cylons, something some fans have been anticipating right from the beginning?

I loved the first episode back. The flashes that the Cylons had when they were on Earth, the devastation in their faces at realizing they'd been chasing a pipe dream, it was all amazing. But then the second episode wasn't. Starbuck and Gaeta have it out in the lunchroom and it was SO hard to watch. Gaeta has every right to be upset about his leg, and Starbuck is completely unfair. But Starbuck's always been one of my faves, and so I'm torn. And in the end, she's loyal to her fleet, and Gaeta certainly isn't. We had Roslin curled up in a fetal position on the floor, Adama angry that Tigh had betrayed him, Tigh angry that he'd upset Adama, and everyone just plain confused about where their position in all of this was. Tyrrol finds out his kid isn't his kid, Hot Dog is forced to step up and be a daddy, and talk about confusion for the poor child. Tigh and Six are expectant parents, the chain-smoking Dr. Cottle is giving Cylons preferential treatment and forcing Gaeta to sit for an eternity...

It was all a perfect buildup to the eventual mutiny, but it was all so... dark and depressing. I thought the series would build up to finding Earth and it would all be wonderful, and now to have them all just floating around not knowing what the heck is going on is rather sad.

But last week's episode made up for it. With Zarek out of prison and Gaeta the frontrunner of the mass mutiny; with Apollo and Starbuck racing around packing heat below the decks; with the captain spewing threats at Gaeta through clenched teeth, it was SO much fun to watch. Roslin escapes, declares her undying love to Adama, and there's a shootout that ended with a "to be continued" screen. Of course, in the preview for this week's episode it was clear Adama wasn't going down in a hail of bullets (duh) but it looks like he's in for a dire situation this week.

So what do you think? Is the beginning of the final episodes depressing for you? Are you still as happy as you ever were with BSG? What do you think about the Cylon issue?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Lost 5.04: Reincarnation??

So, maybe Locke will be reincarnated and that's how he'll get back to the island? (What do you think he'll come back as? Discuss.) I just got this comment on my blog about "The Little Prince," and loved it. I can't believe I missed that, since I throw EVERYTHING into anagram servers from this show and somehow missed this one. This is from reader Jeff Heimbuch:

Did anyone see the name on the side of the van Ben was driving?
It said "Canton-Rainier."
Remember when Jeremy “Locke” Bentham was in the funereal home called Hoffs-Drawler? And that turned out to be an anagram for “Flash Forward”?
Well, Canton-Rainier comes out to reincarnation, doesn't it?
Could that possibly MEAN something?!

It was definitely intentional. My money's on Locke. He'll be reincarnated as... Jacob? Aaron? A redshirt? (wow, that last one would suck for him) ;)

Lost 5.04: The French Translation

A big, big thanks to Benny, one of my readers and most avid commenters. He put together the following French translation of Rousseau and her crew at the end of "The Little Prince." Thanks, Benny!!

Here's the translation for the French crew in 5x04:
-A dash means I'm not sure who's talking.
(Square brackets is my best guess)
[Square brackets are directions]
The first section is difficult to understand without filtering out the rain, which I can't do!

*On the raft:*
Robert: We never should have followed those damn numbers.
- It's not my fault, Brennan was at the sonar.
Brennan: (If you listened to) Montand, he already said the instruments malfunctioned.

*Noticing Jin:*
Danielle: Man at sea!
Robert: What? I thought we were all there?
- We are all there! It's not one of ours.
- Then who is it?

Start paddling!

- Paddle!
- Paddle, come on!
- Hurry up, he going with the currant!

*Reaching Jin:
*Montant: There's only him no boat, nothing.*
*(Brennan complaining)
Danielle: For the love of God, Brennan, shut up.
-Bring him aboard!
-He's still breathing

*Turn over to reveal Jin.*

*-------[Cut to marina]-------*

*Morning, as Jin wakes up. Montand listening to the broadcast:
*Montand: Robert, look, the signal is coming from the island.
Robert: Can you determine the source?
Montand: Of course, look.
Robert: You think the island is inhabited?

*Danielle, talking to Jin:*
Danielle: Are you OK? How are you feeling?
In English/
Jin: No understand
Danielle: You speak English?
Jin: Little.
Danielle: Are you OK?
Jin: Yes
Danielle: How did you get here?
Jin: Boat.
In French/
Robert: Who is it?
Montand: Who cares who it is. What's he doing here?
Danielle: He says he came on a boat.
In English
/Robert: What boat?
Jin: It's gone. Sink.
Danielle: He must have been caught in the same storm as ours.
Montand: Who are you? How long were you underwater?
Jin: I don't know?
Montand: How do you not know how you got in the middle of the ocean?

/In French/
Danielle: [To Montand] Montand, leave him, he's in shock! [To Robert] Do we have water to give him?

*Robert gets back with the water:*
Robert: Here.
Danielle: Thanks.

/In English/
*Jin drinks:*
Jin: Thanks.
Danielle: What is your name?
Jin: Kwo Jin-Soo. Jin.
Danielle: Hello Jin, I'm Danielle. Danielle Rousseau.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Lost: 5.04 “The Little Prince”

Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

Doo da doo... so this week’s episode was pretty good, and seemed to have more story and exposition to lead us to the next episode rather than being all, “Oh my god, what does that mean??” or “AH! Did you SEE that?!” I figured we wouldn’t have a lot to talk about, other than trying to decide who had hired the lawyer to get Kate’s DNA or why Sun was packing heat or OH MY GOD IT’S ROUSSEAU!!!!!!!! Oh my god, oh my god, this is so awesome, now we’ll get her flashback only the survivors will actually be part of it and AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH IT’S JIN!!!!!!!!!

I was SCREAMING on the couch, and didn’t stop screaming from the first reveal when suddenly there was the second.

I KNEW IT!!! All those doubters out there who have been mocking me all summer and telling me that I really need to get over it and that Jin is dead, HA!! HA, I say!! (You know, I’m really, really not the sort of person who rubs people’s noses in their wrongness and my rightness but this is different... I was SO in the minority on this one.) But I shall stop my gloating there. Having Jin back is payment enough. How many times did I say, “Seriously, though, wouldn’t it be awesome if Sun turns into some coldblooded murderer, hating the remaining Oceanic 5 for being responsible for Jin’s death and then suddenly she returns to the island and... oops??” YAY!! The writers are thinking of me for once.

Which means all my other predictions shall come true. Desmond will leave Penny – for me – and then Sawyer will get off the island... and come to me. And Hurley will move in as my roommate and be my best friend, and... no? They won’t give me these things? Oh... balls.

Le Petit Prince
Le Petit Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, is one of my all-time favourite books. And not to sound completely pretentious, but I first took it in French class, and have yet to find an English translation that does the French justice (though I heard one came out about 5 or 6 years ago that’s supposed to be quite good). Basically, a pilot crashes into the desert and finds a curly-headed little boy who has left his planet, which has three volcanoes that he cleans out every day, and one haughty rose that he loves completely. He’s travelled off the planet to learn more about the world, but now can’t find his way back. So he sits and talks to the pilot about what he’s learned about people on Earth, and has come to realize they’re overly concerned about appearances, they are narrow-minded, and they take for granted what’s truly important. He finds a garden full of roses and becomes upset because he thought his rose was the only one in the world, but then he meets the fox (le renard) and the fox explains that the prince must tame him by allowing him to come a little closer every day. When they finally do get close, he tells the fox about the roses, and the fox says he’s wrong, that the rose really IS special because there may be millions of roses in the universe, but this one rose is the only one that means anything to the little prince. He tells the prince that the only way to truly see is with your heart, not your eyes (the quote I used at the top is from the renard). The prince realizes the only way to get back to his planet is to die, and he talks a snake into biting him, and dies. The pilot doesn’t believe he’s died, and he puts in a plea at the very end of the book, begging anyone to let him know if they ever find him (I can never finish this book without crying).

I’m sure there are many parallels to Lost, and I’ll figure them out when writing my book, but the one that immediately comes to mind is that just as the little prince is bitten by a snake and killed to return to his home planet, Locke is killed to return to the island.

Sun’s Dossier
I’m sure screencaps of the surveillance page that Sun reads will be all over the Internet before this blog entry is even up, but it’s very curious. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be accurate or the props department just once again threw a bunch of crap into a piece of paper and assumed no one would look closely (yeah, whatever...) Here’s what I saw:

Followed the subject for seven days from... Except for one trip to the mailbox, suspect never... again that day. When subject had not passed a visible... minutes. Subject answered the telephone and replied that Lee... shower and would return my call in fifteen minutes. I called... number I keep for such occasions but no message was left.

The last light was extinguished at 11:35 pm

Wednesday morning

Except for three trips to the mailbox, subject never left 183 Pinecrest Drive. When subject had not passed a visible window for thirty minutes, subject answered the telephone and replied that Lee Chin was dead. A victim of suicide.

The last light was extinguished at 12:18 am.

Wednesday afternoon

Except for seven trips to the mailbox, subject never left 183 Pinecrest Drive. When subject had not passed a visible window for thirty minutes, subject answered the telephone, claimed I was Melissa #***ing with her and demanded to know when I mailed her the prints.

The document goes on to talk about setting up a camping chair... pacing the front yard, going to the mailbox again, a Volkswagen Beetle showing up at 1:05pm.

What is strange is that a lot of it seems to be the same material cut and pasted over and over. And why does the investigator's log for Wednesday MORNING end with a lights out at 12:18am?? That doesn't make any sense.

The next page talks about interviewing a clerk at the store, following the car through the streets past an animal clinic, etc.

Quicker than a ray of light...
For anyone who needs a memory jog, the group flashes at one point back to Day 41. Boone is injured at the Beechcraft, and Locke carries him back to the caves to Jack, and then slinks off again into the jungle. Jack desperately tries to save Boone, to no avail. Locke goes back to the hatch and bangs on it with his fists, furious that his faith has let him down and Boone’s now dead because of it (he doesn’t know yet that Boone is dead for sure, but knows it is inevitable). Meanwhile, Claire and Kate are in another part of the jungle where Claire gives birth and about three minutes later is dancing a jig out of the jungle (*cough*). Maybe this was some sort of course correction... Aaron was born on the island, so the island got rid of Boone? Either way, it’s an absolutely pivotal moment on the island, and important that they all flash to it, albeit momentarily.

• I say it again: do NOT mess with Sayid!
• Sawyer: “THANK YOU, LORD!!” [flash to monsoon season] “I TAKE THAT BACK!”
• ROUSSEAU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
• JIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
• The look on Kate’s face when Ben shows up at the marina.

Biggest “GASP!” Moments:
• ROUSSEAU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
• JIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hurley’s Numbers:
Sayid was unconscious for 42 hours; 42 Panorama Crescent; Long Beach Marina, Slip 23

Did You Notice?:
• You could tell Kate was holding a doll in the opening scene while talking to Jack. Aaron’s head is the size of a watermelon, yet the doll's head is the size of an orange. I'm hungry.
• “I have ALWAYS been with you,” Kate says to Jack. "Except when I was having sex with Sawyer,” I added for her.
• There’s something seriously wrong with Sun... who takes a look at chocolates that look THAT GOOD and immediately lifts them up to get what’s underneath?! I would have been distracted by the candy for at least five minutes before thinking to check the rest of the box.
• So the nosebleeds happen in this order: Charlotte, Miles, Juliet. If they’re supposed to happen to people more quickly the longer they’ve been on the island, and Juliet’s been on there for 3 years (and notice hers happens after about the same number of flashes as Desmond’s did in The Constant, and he’s also been on the island for 3 years), then it stands to reason Miles was there slightly longer than Juliet, since his happens right before hers, and Charlotte much, much longer, since she starts bleeding about 4 jumps before the rest of them. Could this be a suggestion that the baby we saw in the first episode was Miles? Could Miles have been Dr. Chang’s son? When did Charlotte come to the island? Could the reason Miles doesn't remember be because he was far too young?
• I was wondering how Jack could have been treating Sayid when he was persona non grata at that hospital (remember, his breakdown with the oxycontin happens only a couple of days before these scenes). Now we know.
• That orange jumpsuit just wasn’t doing much justice to our dear Hurley. Too bad they didn’t have it in black.
• Was Kate’s main problem with Jack his mangy beard?? The last time she saw him she was squealing away from the airport in her car, then returned to scream at him about what an insanoid he is, and now, about two days later, he crosses the street over to her and she’s smiling and commenting about how smooth his face is.
• “Ajira Airways” was part of the brief Lost ARG that happened before season 5. You can see the website at
• I figured that Claire’s mom had been the person who hired the attorney all along, so I was very disappointed when I was right. And then pleasantly surprised when I was wrong. Was anyone else watching that scene going, “Jack... SHUT UP!” Thank God he did... but I wonder if what he DID say might help Mrs. Littleton piece something together? If you remember from Claire’s Goth chick flashback, when she was pregnant she was visiting her mother in the hospital. Her mom was in a coma, and Claire was telling her everything. Is there any possibility some of what Claire said to her stayed in her subconscious and it’ll come up again? Or is that the real end of the storyline and we don’t have to speculate about her. Notice Jack said that Mrs. Littleton didn’t know that Aaron existed, but she comments to Kate in the season 4 finale that she has a beautiful baby. Also, you’d think she’d have followed the media VERY closely following the discovery of the Oceanic 6, and would OBVIOUSLY know who Aaron is. He’s only one of 6 people she’d have had to remember from the press conference. Wouldn’t someone whose daughter was killed on that flight have cut out every clipping imaginable? She tracked down Jack at his father’s funeral, so she was clearly keeping dibs on them.
• Is it a coincidence that Ben’s lawyer is the same guy currently suing Oceanic?
• As soon as Locke turned over the canister I KNEW it was going to be Rousseau’s crew (the big BA-BUM! at the end was a little anticlimactic, when I’m sure EVERY viewer figured that one out). The canister said “Besixdouze” which is a direct reference to The Little Prince: in the book the narrator relates a story about a man who had discovered a new asteroid called B 612. He first relates his finding to a scientific conference in 1909 while dressed in Turkish garb. No one listens to him. He returns in 1920 to relate the exact same story, but is dressed in English clothing, and everyone applauds him loudly.
• When Rousseau and her crew are on the boat, they keep referring to Montand by name. Montand was the guy Rousseau mentions in the season 1 finale when they’re heading to the Black Rock, and she tells them Montand lost his arm.
• Rousseau’s husband Robert was seriously hot.

So Many Questions...
• How much do I love that Miles puts his water in a flask? Does he have an alcohol problem we haven’t seen yet?
• Can a law firm really just demand a blood sample from a person simply because a client demands it? I’m a believer in all things Lost, but I’m not sure I’m buying this storyline. I can’t just demand the blood sample of someone and their kid because I think they might be lying about the maternity of the child. There would have to be some strong evidence to do such a thing, and I don’t think the client could hide themselves. I’m just not believing this one, unless there’s a lawyer out there who can tell me differently.
• So who was the guy who came into Sayid’s hospital room and attacked him? Was he sent by Widmore? Ben? Does Ben think this is the only reason he can keep Sayid still long enough to get him back to the island?
• Where was Vincent when they got to the camp? (Anyone else wonder if he was eaten??)
• Whose boat does the group take? Why are they hostile to them (other than the fact they just stole their boat?) The camp looks long abandoned, but the boat looks old. Maybe it was Bernard and Rose... what if it was themselves?
• What was Montand’s problem? He seemed really angry all the time. I’m sort of happy knowing he’s going to lose a limb.
• Why was Ben trying to take Aaron? Was it all a plan to bring them to that point so he could lure Kate back to the island or was he really trying to take him?

Next week:

UPDATE: My DocArzt column just went up here.