Friday, January 30, 2009

Best characters so far this season

With all the changes this season, turning Lost from a very character driven drama into a more action and answer packed show, it's nice to know some of the gang are still providing the show with some heart.

Number one has to be Hurley. As Sayid picks him up at the mental hospital and in the ensuing mayhem, he's scared, he's frustrated, he's confused, he's guilt-ridden. Just like you'd think a real person would be. He's not a bearded automaton like Jack who seems to have all but had his personality wiped out, and he's not a blubbery mess like Kate. He's not gone hardcore like Sun or jaded like Sayid. He's still Hurley. His scenes with his mother and Ana Lucia were welcome and provided both comic relief and tears. Jorge Garcia is just getting better with each season.

Number two is Sawyer. He is also reacting like a real person: scared, angry, devastated by what he thinks was Kate's death, confused, and looking for someone to take it out on. This is not the user and con-man of early seasons, nor the smooth talker and lover boy we saw later with Kate. This is Dark Sawyer and he's been in the making since he killed Original Sawyer in The Brig. He's still funny, but with a definite edge. And he still feels real. He doesn't act as though he's an action hero, he acts like a real person.

And number three is Juliet. Women of Lost seem to either die (too many to mention), get whiny (Kate) or made irrelevant (Charlotte and Rousseau, before she died). Right now Juliet is acting like a human being, not a foil for male characters. She's taking initiative, she's helping people, she's trying to figure her way around the new reality of time-skipping. And she's babysitting Sawyer, who really needs it.

There's a nice chemistry between the two, kind of like an older wiser sister/younger foolish brother thing. Whether it will be forced into romance remains to be seen... I kind of hope the show let's them just be friends.

So far I haven't really seen enough of any other losties to judge them I guess. Locke is still Locke and awesome, though he's getting more action than drama atm. And the 3 freighters - Daniel, Miles and Charlotte - are kind of following the paths they started on last year. Daniel explains what's going on, Miles being all sarcastic and psychic, and Charlotte is unfortunately not being used for much at all except a foil for Daniel.

And then there's Alpert. But he's almost more plot point than person. Which is ok when you have eyelashes like that.

Screencaps thanks to lost-media.

I frikking love this show

So far, this season of Lost absolutely and totally rocks. No more dithering about and adding layers of mysteries, just time-travelly goodness and action and island history. It's all starting to tie together, but we have still to see how deep the rabbit hole goes I suppose.

Also: I was right about 2 things! Which has like, never happened. That twerp on the island was Widmore (though he's an Other not a soldier) and Alpert is NOT time traveling, just getting info from time skippers.

I love Alpert. Even now, when some of his mystery has been stripped off (he's not a psychic time traveler), he is just awesome. He is obviously protective of the island and has a strong sense of the "chain of command". Interesting to note that he did not recognize Locke when he met him in the 50s. Does that mean that Locke and the Losties will not flash back to earlier island history? Or that they won't meet Alpert when they do? Or that he wasn't there? How long has he been there and how old is he? Juliet's "he's old" was said with a knowing half-smile. Did Alpert arrive with the Black Rock? Did Widmore and "Ellie" (Daniel's mom?) arrive on that ship too?

Widmore seemed arrogant and young: he was making fun of Locke's age... does that mean he WAS young in the 50s or did he just look young (like Alpert)? And who is Jacob, really? It seems to me that the Others need someone as a "communicator" when it comes to Jacob. As though they are not able to talk to him themselves. Was Jacob dislodged in time at one point and is that why only "outsider" like Locke can catch sight of him? Could Ben ever see Jacob, or was he just putting on a show to get to be leader?

And that bomb! Was it buried in a hatch, like the one that already blew up, or will it appear again further on in the story to be detonated?

Charlotte continues to feel more and more irrelevant. Please let her get something to do!

Juliet continues to be more and more awesome. It's like she's babysitting Sawyer!

I love Desmond. That is all. He also has the cutest kid on the show.

Loved how Daniel didn't bat an eye when Miles told him what the dead people told him! The 3 newcomers obviously know about each other's skills. It also kind of warps me that Widmore met Daniel, Charlotte and Miles on the island BEFORE he himself sent them there in the future. Yeah. Time travel is like that. Not sure how Daniel's mom plays into this since she now appears to be helping Ben (if she is Mrs Hawking of the pendulum): is she on Widmore's side? Or her own side to help Daniel?

How does the time traveliness play into the fact that Jack, for example, saw his dead dad on the island? Did his dad somehow timewarp? Was Jack's dad on the island once upon a time too? If that was baby Miles in the crib in the season opener, does that mean he was somehow timewarped as a child and is that why he can hear dead people?

Will Rose and Bernard end up in that cave and die there with a white and a black stone in their possession?

What an awesome show. I know some people don't like it now that the show seems to be heading into more sci-fi territory, but once the smoke monster was shown in its entirety, I think that was pretty much a given. Could the smoke monster be some kind of device from the future made to timetravel back to "clean up". Ack! Get out of my head Lost!

Screencaps from 5-03 Jughead, thanks to lost-media.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lost Season 5: It's on, and it's sci-fi

For 4 seasons, or at least 3, Lost seemed like a show about people stuck on an exotic, weird, freaky island. Now, with the start of season 5, the show seems to have shed it's previous skin and come out with guns blazing (like the mixed metaphors??). It's sci-fi baby and time travel and paradoxness and pendulum swinging. It's about pockets of whacky energy in caves, physicist explanations and refracted light. And I say: bring. it. on.

Yes, the people of the show and all their personalities and problems are still center stage too, but they're all part of the machinery now, the sci-fi time travel machinery that will, hopefully, spit out an answer to all our questions eventually: what is the smoke monster, why can't women conceive and carry to term on the island, who is Jacob, what were his lists about and why the heck is the island so weird and so hard to find?

I liked the two opening episodes, though they had some clunky bits. Dr Wickman/Candle/whatever's startlingly non-secretive reveal of what was behind the cave wall felt very exposition-ish and odd. But hey, I think we got to see baby Miles in a crib, so that kind of makes up for it. And we got to see Daniel in a hard hat, looking conspicuous as only Daniel can!

I have no idea what is actually going on, but I think I'll like the ride. It's now a totally wide open story, anything can happen, and my idea that Jack's first scene in the jungle in the Pilot episode is actually NOT in a timeline we really know about now seems more likely. Or not...

Other thoughts I had after watching Because You Left and The Lie:

Hurley had a fantastic scene with his mom. It was one of the best scenes on the show ever. Hugo Reyes made me laugh and he made me cry and he was utterly believable and so was his mom. You could really tell the toll it had taken on him to lie to her and to everyone else. And whe she said "I believe you", well... *sniffle*

Sawyer looks a little less cut... maybe he put on some weight? Or he doesn't want to be shirtless all the time...

Benjamin Linus looks younger. Time travel? Or just more frequent showers and facials?

I love love Daniel! And at least he can explain what goes on. And exercise his eyebrows while he's at it. Poor Charlotte still doesn't seem to have much to do except be spunky and have nosebleeds. I hope her archelogical skills will get a workout soon.

How come Alpert is like totally not freaked out by time weirdness? He's obviously not the same as Locke and the losties since he and his people DID NOT move when the white flash happened. Interesting. He definitely seems less flustered than anyone else.

Sun definitely seemed rather sinister in her scene with Kate. I like it, but I'm still not totally sure what her revenge-agenda involves: Ben? Widmore? Kate? Jack? Whoever and whatever she's after, she is now officially gone hardcore. Also: please no more crying Evangeline Lilly! Just say no.

Desmond is hot. Hawt. And he's definitely still a major player in the show which makes me happy.

Were the soldiers threatening Juliet WW2 guys? Is that how Widmore found the island once upon a time I wondered? Maybe that was Widmore threatening to cut off the hand? Seemed like his style somehow.

I really can't wait to see more of Alpert's backstory. Alpert's comment that "next time I won't remember you" had me turning inside out. Was Alpert talking about the "past" when he saw baby Locke in the hospital? And what does that mean about Alpert... ?

Also: I liked Juliet and Sawyer together more than I had expected. Not a romantic vibe, but they do make a good team imo. She's the brains obviously. Good chemistry there I thought, though I hope they don't force a love story on us too soon. Frikking triangle/square/pentagon! Sawyer/Juliet feels almost like a big sister/little brother combo to me.

I had to go back and check the recap of the Cabin Fever when Alpert goes to see young Locke and has him choose between several objects.

Five-year-old John is playing backgammon in a living room when his foster sister Melissa rudely knocks the pieces off the board, taunting him. His foster mother Florence scolds her before telling John that there is a man there to see him, and that he should be on his best behavior.

Richard Alpert walks in the house and sits down at the table across from him. He introduces himself as Richard and tells John that he runs a school for special children and has reason to believe that John is one of them. Richard asks John if he minds if Richard shows him a couple of neat things, to which John shakes his head (indicating he does not mind). Richard notices a drawing on the wall of the room of a man lying on the ground while a mass of black springs from the ground and hangs over him, resembling an attack by the smoke monster.

When asked by Richard if he drew the picture, John nods his head. The two walk to another table and sit down. Richard tells John that he wants him to look at a few objects, think about them, and tell him which of them are his. The boy thinks Richard means "to keep" but Alpert clarifies, "Which of these things belong to you already?" He lays out on the table a baseball glove, a book entitled "Book of Laws" (possibly referring to the holy text of the Bahá'í faith), a small container of granules, a compass, a comic book entitled "Mystery Tales", and a knife.

John immediately claims the container of the granules and inspects and claims the compass. John starts towards the "Book of Laws", at which point Richard looks hopeful. Instead, he picks up the knife, to which Richard seems disappointed and angry. He asks John if he is sure, and after he nods affirmatively, Richard snatches the knife from his hand and takes the other items away. He puts these back into his bag and stands up quickly. Florence enters the room and asks how John did. Richard responds sternly that John is not quite ready for his school and walks out of the house. Florence scolds John, asking what he did wrong, as he looks down dejectedly.
The compass is the same one Alpert gave him in this episode. So what does that mean? Could Locke be doing the "mindjumping" thing like Desmond was doing before when his "mind" ended up in his younger body without actually moving physically through time? Is Alpert checking if something like that is happening with Locke? If this meeting with child Locke is the meeting Alpert refers to when he gives Locke the compass, then why did he seem disappointed even though Locke gave him the compass? And how does Alpert know that the next time he sees Locke will be at a moment when he, Alpert, doesn't know who Locke is? And if he didn't know who Locke was when he went to see him as a child, then why did he go to the hospital when Locke was born? Argh. Time travel is doing my head in. "It'll come back around" indeed!

My big idea after this episode though is this: What if Alpert is not time-traveling at all. What if the only ones time-hopping are the Losties. What if what Alpert told like "We didn't move, you did", really is the "rule"? What if whatever Alpert is doing, like going to see Locke when he was a child, was not because he's time traveling, but because he is getting info from time traveling Losties? I'm not sure how that would all fit together, but I'm really thinking right now that Alpert really is NOT time hopping. He's just not aging, probably because of the properties of the island.

I guess we'll see... in time. So bring on the sci-finess and the timelooping. I'm totally ready for it.