Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lost: Who are these people?

Spoilers for "Lost" coming up just as soon as I kick my nicotine gum habit...

What the hell was that? It was like the "Lost" equivalent of "The Zeppo," only if Xander had only showed up three weeks earlier and sucked, crossed with a bad parlor mystery...

...and yet it was a kind of compelling trainwreck, so strange, so agressively meta -- and, in the flashbacks, so seamlessly edited to insert Nikki and Paulo into familiar scenes -- that, if nothing else, I'll take it over the Jack tattoo episode. And, hey, it ended with those two losers buried alive, so it couldn't be all bad, could it?

Back at press tour, someone asked Carlton and Damon what the point of Nikki and Paulo was, and Carlton replied, "The point will become very clear in episode 314," and Damon said that they had a really cool idea for a standalone episode about two castaways we hadn't met before, but they felt it would pay off better if they were introduced earlier in the season so viewers wouldn't spend the entire showcase episode saying, "Wait a minute. I have never seen
those guys before."

Having watched "Expose," I have a hard time buying that version of the story, because if this was their brilliant idea that necessitated all those earlier appearances, then there be far bigger problems here than I thought. As it is, I think the episode only works on the level of the creators apologizing for Nikki and Paulo's utter uselessness by turning them into even more selfish asses than we had already thought.

What did everybody else think?

53 comments:

Mac said...

I don't believe that they intended to kill these characters off when they introduced them. Of course, I don't believe that about Michelle Rodriguez either. Why can't they just admit that sometimes they make mistakes?

Devin McCullen said...

Well, first of all, any episode with a random Billy Dee Williams cameo is cool. And the shot at the end, when Nikki opened her eyes right before the dirt landed on her, gave me chills. And I liked the Arzt scenes.

That said, the whole medusa spider paralysis bit was ridiculously hokey. And having them find Pearl Station and that contrived scene with Juliet and Ben was just lame.

I'm really not sure why they felt the need to resurrect the Charlie kidnaps Sun plot point that I (and I'd guess most other folks) had forgotten about - hopefully it'll tie into something else.

Overall, though, I guess I sort of liked it. Then again, unlike everyone else, I didn't care enough to hate Nikki and Paolo. Actually, I sort of liked Nikki - I'm less tired of her than I am of Kate. :) That said, I won't notice she's gone.

It wasn't the weirdest thing I watched this week, though. That goes to Monday's 24.

Rick said...

I don't know... I kind of liked it. It reminded me of a low-stakes Memento where the mystery is being solved from two different directions. Memento or Hurley P.I..

I think we can all agree that network seasons are far too long, so if they have to pad it out with stories like this, I'm OK with that.

And yes, it beats the tattoo episode.

jim treacher said...

My stupid DVR didn't record it. Arzt showed up? Arzt!

So who buried Paulo alive? Leonidas and the 300? 'Bout time.

J said...

It was, like the VW ep, an okay little one-off show. Having them stumble carelessly throughout the history of the series was cute. The ending was enjoyably nasty in that old EC Comics/Hitchcock Presents way.

Had the insertion of the N/P characters happened while actual interesting stuff was going on, people might not have minded. And this ep would have actually been some sort of pay-off. But when the audience is feeling like they're drowning in BS, egregious characters like N & P = more BS.

The biggest weakness of this episode -- other than that scene where Ben stupidly vocalized his M.O. in a way a character as smart as Ben never would -- was that we didn't spend enough time with Nikki and Paolo. In this one episode, I mean. There just wasn't enough back-and-forth between them to define their relationship.

The producers already had a pair of characters the audience hated on their hands. Couldn't they have made the N/P story really nasty? At the end of the episode, The Island basically gets to eat them alive; they only seemed to earn that by being an inconvenience.

david... said...

i guess i would have liked this ep more if i had not just watched "friday night lights" on the same night.

watching "lost" is so much more difficult after having seen really great television at 8pm.

fnl is great television (period). lost is a cartoon with great production values (and shiny things).

dez said...

Except for getting to see Arzt again, that ep was an effin' waste of my time. And now I'm gonna be tired at work tomorrow! I've totally got to quit doing this to myself. Stupid LOST!

Anonymous said...

alan said: "What the hell was that?"

i think it was lost saying: "we give up." let's just do whatever we can to stop this ratings skid. shannon, boone, artz retrospectives... back to the crash explosions, showing stations discovered before they were and hanging planes so all true fans can all go "eeek" together. and then finish it off with a whole new "NO! THEY'RE NOT DEAD!" as they are being buried sci-fi cover.

my god, is this still lost? or have "others" taken over this show...

Anonymous said...

Haters, haters, haters!
This was an awesome hour of television, a break from the mystery that to me carried echoes of "Twilight Zone". Or maybe one of those episodes where "The X-Files" went really out on a limb, and totally departed from both the mythology and the creepy-crawly stuff. It was a moral tale about how greed--and jealousy--can kill.

It was funny, it was well-acted, it featured stripper poles and Billy Dee Williams.

It tackled, head on, the complaints of those who've wondered what the hell everyone else on the island has been up to, by showing that other people on the island have been off having their own adventures. Now we know what 2 people were doing.

And why such cynical thoughts about the producers saying they've planned this episode long ago? I never got why people "hated" Nicki and Paolo so much, but if they were "bad" characters gone awry-- as some people seem to believe-- there would have been a better way for producers to deal with them: Ignore them! Nobody would've cared. Hell, Michael and Walt disappeared a year ago, and life has gone on. I doubt producers would've wasted so much time and money to "justify" Paolo and Nicki.

It's damn hard to come up with 24 episodes of an average show like "CSI". The degree of difficulty for a show like "Lost" is at least double. You're gonna have to deal with tattoos and morality tales.

I mean, let's face it: Nobody could imagine how lost could be more than a one season show. But the producers have done a damn fine job stretching things out over 3 years.

Bottom line: A great hour of TV. Haters, stop watching!

Anonymous said...

We are not haters.

We are like children watching Daddy getting drunker and drunker every Wednesday night, thowing beer-can scripts at our beloved actors.

*we cry*

He used to be such a fine upstanding man, our Daddy.

Clifton Smalls said...

Nobody could imagine how lost could be more than a one season show

Zuh?

Dark Tyler said...

Come on, people! This was a "mea culpa" disguised as a joke! Would it have been better if Lindelof and Cuse had decided to play them as Serious And Important characters, a la Libby? The guys learned from their mistakes, and when they found two characters who didn't work, they just killed them off in an enjoyable manner.

This episode was sort of like the guy in the group who decides to tell a joke, but it's not really good, only you recognize the effort and you kinda like the random and cool references. And in the end you laugh nontheless. I liked it!

Anonymous said...

It was pretty good, I guess. The fan in me liked all of the meta references and flashbacks to earlier seasons. I also liked the return to the notion that there is a social hiearchy among the castaways and that the narrative usually focuses on the cool kids. However, Nikki and Paulo were so promiscuously thrust into the series this season that I can't imagine that this episode was the sole purpose. Plus, I think it was a bit too cutesy to have them finding the plane and the video station before anyone else and failing to reveal those things to the cool kid main cast.

Cheesesteak said...

I found myself incredibly impatient with all the meta comments, from the very first scene on. It did feel, as someone pointed out, as a mea culpa episode but I didn't find it endearing. If I hadn't watched the previous 60 episodes, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it. As it was, I was waiting for Angela Lansbury to pop up.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Why can't they just admit that sometimes they make mistakes?

In fairness, Mac, they did. I believe Lindelof's exact words were "Mistakes were made" with their introduction -- which is why I believe that they had something else in mind with these two and came up with this Alfred Hitchcock Presents meta-fable instead when it became obvious that everyone hated them.

Toby said...

I think this jungle version of "Double Indemnity" (at least as far as Paolo and Nikki being Neff and Phyllis) served a purpose - it was a recap show to bring new viewers up to speed halfway through the season.

And having served that purpose, Nikki and Paolo were expendable.

Although I think Nikki could still have proved useful in the future. A series can always use a good bitch a la Alexis.

Maybe Vincent can dig her up before it's too late. LOL!

I hope we get more "Expose" Easter Eggs in future episodes. Maybe get to see Billy Dee on the small screen in the background of some flashbacks.....

Kristin said...

I liked this episode. Very Alfred Hitchcock, indeed.

There were several things that interested me about this particular episode:

1) The appearance of all the Medusa spiders out of nowhere. Is this some more island shenanigans going on?

2) Now they have a working walkie talkie that might help them find out more about the Others or something. And why did Paulo choose to keep it rather than reveal it to someone? What was his plan? Did he already use it at some point? Did he ever tell anyone about what he heard between Juliet & Ben?

3) Now Sun and Charlie have a rift between them. Sun never liked Sawyer, so that was nothing new. But slapping Charlie in the face and getting so angry with him over her faked kidnapping attempt? When and how Charlie's death inevitably comes, Sun might end up being a part of it...or not caring. And that was an important scene for her character development.

I'm still floored that they buried them alive. Awesome in a creepy way...

Anonymous said...

I liked it. I liked how they were able to integrate Carlos and Nikki in the crash scene - or did they redo it? I kept saying - hey, Carlos and Nikki are Forrest Gump. I also thought it was a clever way to do a clip show, but I still liked it. The eye opening at the end creeped me out a lot - I really was not expecting it or the reveal of the purpose of the xx hours/days before to reveal the 8 hour of paralysis had been up.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the above, and although anonymous, I admit to being a stupid Gringo and writing Carlos instead of Paolo.

Anonymous said...

The Nikki and Paolo storyline was cheap. I didn't think it added anything to the overall storyline of the show. Mainly, I was totally furious to see them in clips that show them discovering things (namely Eko's brother's plane and the Pearl hatch) and NOT telling anyone from the group. If we remember the general climate of the show from back then, it's highly ridiculous that they would have forgone telling people about these findings, just to cover up their diamond search. And the addition of Ben and Juliette in the Pearl hatch? Absurd. Wouldn't Paolo warn everyone that the others were planning on kidnapping Jack? How about using Michael to do it? Shouldn't Paolo have said something? What a joke.

I also don't care if they were buried alive! So what?!?! It was a cheap knock off of an overused Twilight Zone episode. It would have been much more interesting had the "monster" ripped them to shreds.

The writers need to step up to get me interested again. I am hanging on, but only by a thread

eDub said...

All the Paulo and Nikki fiasco aside, i quite like the Seinfeld-ish backwards episode style. Wonder what will come out of the buried alive theme?

Anonymous said...

For the people who are annoyed that Paolo and Nikki didn't share crucial information with anyone else:

That is the way this show is. There is a lot of information. Some people know some things. No one knows everything. People keep secrets and have their own agendas. Nikki and Paolo keeping a lot of information to themselves is nothing new and it isn't less believable than any of the many other times people kept things to themselves.

Overall, I liked it. I am impatient and want the story to go forward. But it was fun to watch. Creepy too. I could hardly look at all those spiders!

Louis said...

I thought the episode was all right; it had some funny moments and Nikki was hot. It reminded me, especially at the end, of the film, The Vanishing.

TuckPendleton said...

Kristin --

The Medusa spiders didn't come out of nowhere. They set that up in the beginning of the show when Arzt mentioned that once the female spider was loose (the one in the jar that Nikki threw on Paolo) all the male spiders nearby would arrive.

And I have to say, I kinda liked it...liked the mean-spiritedness of it. Not to mention Nikki in that bikini...

Maybe the show is just doing takes on other shows from here on out...this week was Alfred Hitchcok, and next week is their Dynasty homage with their Linda Evans/Joan Collins fight...

dez said...

When Nikki & Paolo were thrust into the narrative earlier this season, they were obviously included in conversations with the cool kids because they talked about stuff with the cool kids that we (the audience) thought the cool kids kept to themselves. It showed us that information was being shared, albeit off-screen, and that these two characters were important enough to know that info. Which makes it doubly hilarious that they completely were off Sawyer's nickname radar.

I wouldn't have minded getting their backstory if they were both better actors. Better yet, I would have preferred getting Arzt's backstory, or even Scott's/Steve's (whichever of the two isn't dead). But I couldn't care less about these two frickin' idjits and their adventures in greed.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think they would share information which might help get them off the island. A plane with a radar? A walkie talkie? The Others, who have been taking them and attacking them?

Kat Coble said...

Well, I think they would share information which might help get them off the island. A plane with a radar? A walkie talkie? The Others, who have been taking them and attacking them?

They didn't want off the island at those points, because they didn't want to leave without the bag of diamonds.

Personally, I enjoyed this episode. It was fun, relatively Jack- and Kate-free and had some degree of narrative movement.

It also furthers my philosophy that the Island gives people whatever they need.

In the case of Nikki and Paolo, they needed killin'

Anonymous said...

ben's out-of-character schemeing seemed to me to be in a similar tone with the rest of the episode. the spiders, the diamonds, the starlet, the twists... in the sort of programs that used these devices, there was always a villain who was a little to vocal and exact with his plans.

Cat Pick said...

Eh, it was a nice mea culpa from the writers, and an entertaining episode overall. (And just about anything is better than the tattoo fiasco.) I did find it a pretty contradictory that NIkki implied they were "left out of everything" yet neither of them seemed to feel the need to share the discovery of the plane or the hatch. At this point, I really only like Hugo and sayid and I kind of love Sawyer (but I guess I always have). The VW episode was so enjoyable to me because we got to see Sawyer having an actual good time, laughing and everything.

Anonymous said...

I liked how the episode actually answered questions it raised but there were too many contrivances. How could you not get to know everyone on the island after 80 days? there are only 40 of them and a lot of hours to fill in a day. How did one pack of nicorete gum last Pualo a month to convieniently fall out of his pocket? Why would Nikki still care about diamonds after the first few weeks when they obviously weren't going to be rescued? Though I am glad they got rid of unpopular characters far faster than with Michelle Rodrigez.

Anonymous said...

They didn't want off the island at those points, because they didn't want to leave without the bag of diamonds.

This seems to be a forced contrivance of the plot.

Anonymous said...

Whenever a show is now doing episodes for the message boards the show is over. It happened on the OC Season 2-ish, where it became so meta - I think Julie Cooper once said "Here comes a twist you wont find on the internet" and Seth talking about how "Last year was so much better"...

And it really means the writers are more obsessed with the fans and fan reaction then they are with the show. It's clever, sure. But it means the original inspiration in doing the show is over and the writers are now just reaction defensivelly to message boards.

This show is over.

Bill said...

The notion that Nikki and Paolo were killed off because they were unpopular characters is incompatible with the facts. Unless I'm mistaken, they made their first appearance in the third episode of this season, which aired on Oct. 18. Damon and Carleton clearly had last night's stand-alone story in mind by the fifth episode (which aired Nov. 1 and was probably written in September). How do we know this? Because Paolo went into the bathroom of the Pearl station and startled everyone when he flushed the toilet. I remember thinking at the time that it was a random, out-of-place moment. It's clear now that its purpose was to lay groundwork for episode 14's showing us what Paolo did in the bathroom.

To maintain that Nikki and Paolo were killed because they were unpopular, you have to believe Damon & Co. had Desmond-like prescience -- that they realized Nikki and Paolo would be unpopular with the audience well before the Oct. 18 episode in which they first appeared even aired.

Why did they botch the introduction of Nikki and Paolo in episode 3? Because they were so focused on their upcoming stand-alone story, so excited about the eventual payoff they had in mind.

No, the simplest explanation is that Damon and Carleton are telling the truth. The repeated, wearisome insinuations that they're being dishonest strike me as both implausible and ungracious.

BF said...

Guys, you are all overanalyzing.

What's better than an episode where Nikki & Paolo die?

An episode where Nikki & Paolo die twice!!!

Billy Dee Williams and the undead corpses of Artz & Ethan were just icing on the cake.

M.Chavez said...

Wow! I'm actually amazed at the animosity towards this episode. Andrew Dignan's opinion is slightly less annoyed, but he echoes my sentiment that throughout the hour we witnessed many other issues tied up and moved forward.

For the folks that didn't like Nikki/Paolo, what's not to love about them *dying*? And their escapades helped feed some of our own incredulousness throughout these past seasons... how come only a handful of folks were actually *getting anywhere* on the island? Now we get to see that yes, those faceless people in the background *are* actually doing something. Much could've been averted if N/P had been good and decent enough to actually come forward and let the rest know what they've discovered. And while frustrating, at least it let me know that 1) the "others" are not some omnipotent group, 2) people have been exploring the island - not just Locke, Sayid, et al, 3) some folks were indeed pissed when told that a select few had their hands on FIREARMS, 4) the horrible act Charlie and Sawyer committed on Sun was *not* going to be ignored - it has now been resolved.

All of this happens in an episode that can stand on its own as a twilight-zone-homage. Those last 2 minutes actually had me on the edge of my seat. Not so much for the horror of being buried alive, but as witness to either an act of 'fooled ya, we're gonna let them live' or 'yep, we're gonna do it - they're dead!'

I would love to know, if at all possible, if indeed this episode was a 'correction' to the introduction of N/P, or if they actually planned on their demise all along as a vehicle to move other plot elements forward. The 'correction' isn't a horrible path to take, but if they indeed planned it from the beginning, I'd consider that genius - knowing that the majority of the audience would not be on N/P's side.

All in all, this second half of the season, except for little bumps like Jack's tattoo ep, has been great! I eagerly await however many are left. Next week - Juliet and Kate at each other's throats? AW RIGHT!

M. Rambaldi said...

The whole Paulo-flushing-the-toilet moment (from 305) is crucial to determining whether the Nikki/Paulo fate was intended all along or a last-minute change when the characters proved unpopular.

Why would Paulo be flushing the toilet, back in 305, unless it had some kind of meaning? At the time, you don’t really notice it, because there are a lot of things going on in that hatch, with the monitors and everything, and them discovering the character who turns out to be Bakunin in The Flame. At most, it seems like a beat of false suspense (Where's Paulo? What's the noise?). But I don’t really see why that moment gets written and shot if it doesn’t have a purpose, a purpose neatly filled in the episode last night. This episode -- 305 -- was likely written before 303 was shot (even though 303 was produced as 302), or at the very least the story was definitely broken.

If you accept that this moment was planted intentionally to tie into episode 314, the idea that their fate was a last-minute change completely falls apart. The characters debut, barely, in episode 303, some nerds on the internet don’t like the characters, so the writers say, “Oh, no, better come up with a new idea,” so they write new scenes and do re-shoots -- between October 18 and, well, a week later, to have it ready by November 1 for the airing of 305 -- to set up the toilet-flushing thing? The timing just doesn't track at all.

If you think that the original toilet-flushing moment from 305 was just a random event "retconned" for 314, well ... then the writers must have been overjoyed when they decided to kill the characters off and found a moment they could build a whole flashback around. That's a pretty incredible stroke of luck for them.

Occam's Razor says that things went down just as Lindelof said they were back in January.

Alan Sepinwall said...

At the time, the toilet flush struck me as a clumsy attempt at comic relief in the middle of an otherwise tense sequence.

In general, I'm a fan of Occam's Razor, but I've also been lied to by too many TV producers and executives -- even the ones I'm friendly with -- to not take everything they say with a grain of salt.

Alan Sepinwall said...

On the "it was planned this way all along" side of the ledger, Fienberg makes a very convincing argument for Nikki and Paulo as the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of Craphole Island.

Anonymous said...

Loved the episode, but it did feel a little too much like a reaction to the "fans". Nikki and Paulo were never really that bad, they were simply the focal point for frustration with the show in general (primarily the six weak episodes followed by a huge hiatus). I wonder if the notion of them collaborating with the others wasn't the original plan all along (but of course, there was never any real chance of that happening lats night, because such a discovery would not be revealed via Sawyer's brilliant deductions.) Which is too bad, because that could have made for 2-3 really good episodes. The way there were shoehorned into the crash scene was incredibly well done. If Lost decides to add more characters using the pool of unknown survivors, this episode serves as a good template for how they should be introduced, rather than simply having them appear out of nowhere.

M. Rambaldi said...

At the time, the toilet flush struck me as a clumsy attempt at comic relief in the middle of an otherwise tense sequence.

In general, I'm a fan of Occam's Razor, but I've also been lied to by too many TV producers and executives -- even the ones I'm friendly with -- to not take everything they say with a grain of salt.


Fair enough, on both counts. But you have to admit that, under the "course correction" scenario, if the toilet-flush were clumsy comic relief, its existence was a great stroke of luck for the writers when it came time to "fix" the situation by offing the characters.

Occam's Razor comes into play on your second point, too, actually ... if killing Nikki and Paulo was a late December/early January decision, Carlton's "You'll see why they exist in 314" would really have been sufficient, and Damon's bit about the stand-alone story would have been superfluous. Why make up an elaborate lie when a simple statement has already answered the question? Just to maintain the "illusion" that the main developments of the show are pre-designed?

Sure, Hollywood types can be oily, but in this case I think I'll take Cuse and Lindelof at their word until there is some kind of evidence that I shouldn't. If anything, last night's episode was evidence in favor of believing them.

Anonymous said...

One more thought...

While this was the perfect episode to bring Artz back and its always nice to see Ethan, did anyone else think it was a monumental waste to bring Shannon and Boone back just to act like idiots in the airport terminal?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Carlton's "You'll see why they exist in 314" would really have been sufficient, and Damon's bit about the stand-alone story would have been superfluous. Why make up an elaborate lie when a simple statement has already answered the question? Just to maintain the "illusion" that the main developments of the show are pre-designed?

Because even Carlton's initial comment suggests that there's been a plan all along regarding the characters that would be made evident in 314, and because the illusion of a master plan is vital at a point where the fans are questioning the existence of said plan more than ever. If the majority of the fanboys really start believing that the producers are making things up as they go along, there be big problems.

Dark Tyler said...

Well, I think this clears it up a bit.

Dark Tyler said...

And something I keep forgetting to mention. Was it just me, or do you think that the "Expose" scene we got to see was a kind of meta foreshadowing? If I got this right, one of the three main stars of that show turned out to be The Villain. Hm.

Alan Sepinwall said...

The most relevant quote from the TVGuide.com item Dark Tyler linked to, from Lindelof:

"The easiest thing would have been to just write them out and forget they ever happened, like the cougar on [Season 2] of 24. But that's not Lost. We should at least own up to it."

Sure sounds like a course correction to me.

bill said...

Lost producers conversation 1: Ok, we're going to introduce these 2 new characters, then in 314 we'll run a Twilight Zone like episode where we accidently bury them alive! Only to see them claw themselves free at the beginning of the next episode! Hey, someone get me a calendar...Ohmygod, we can have a resurrection Easter week! This will be so cool! How? Poisonous spider, paralysis, blah blah blah...don't worry, it will all work out.

Lost producers conversation 2 (a few months later): Wow, everyone sure does hate Nikki and Paolo; what do you think we should do? I know, at the end of 314 it looks like they're dead, so just leave it at that. We'll just skip the resurrection bit and pretend this was our plan all along. Moving on, how's that special Christmas on the beach rewrite coming along for the Season 3 finale?

Undercover Asain Man said...

M. Rimbaldi said: "Fair enough, on both counts. But you have to admit that, under the "course correction" scenario, if the toilet-flush were clumsy comic relief, its existence was a great stroke of luck for the writers when it came time to "fix" the situation by offing the characters."

I think you are reading way too much into the toilet flushing scene as some indicator that this particular story arc was planned all along. Instead, to me at least, it seemed like the writers just looked at all the scenes that Nikki and Paolo had done on the show (not that many so it was easy to find them all) and then tie them all together in the most ridiculous and convoluted way possible, well into farce territory. Do you (Rimaldi) really find it credible that the producers envisioned Nikki and Paolo finding that hatch and saying nothing about it to anyone as something they had planned all along? That N and P would just see that hatch as a place to hide diamonds, even though it is a guaranteed place where other humans would frequently visit (and an object as big as that folding dolls could easily clog the toilet and be found?). Paolo saw Ben and Juliet in the hatch, so he KNOWS people go there - so this is the place he wants to hide his diamonds, given a WHOLE ISLAND of hiding places where humans don't tread?

I can't believe the mere act of flushing a toilet in a previous episode that is later tied into an obviously credibility-busting later episode is the bedrock argument that the Lost producers have had this planned all along and is thus a good indicator that they have all of Lost planned for the future. If this toilet flushing tie-in is THE indicator of how they are going to explain all the other mysteries of the island, the level of outrage from fans might border on actual rioting and firebombing of ABC's stations.

This episode was obviously an over-the-top homage to killing off hated characters that relies on the winking acknowledgment of how ridiculous the explanation is as the very mechanism that allows the audience to simultaneously forgive them for it.

M. Rambaldi said...

Do you (Rimaldi) really find it credible that the producers envisioned Nikki and Paolo finding that hatch and saying nothing about it to anyone as something they had planned all along?

Yes, depending on what you mean by "all along".

Do I think they had this in mind when they created the show and/or developed the idea of the hatches? No.

Do I think that when they introduced Nikki and Paulo, this was part of their plan for those two characters? Yes, that is very credible. They're selfish, loner characters who no one but Hurley seems to know. Their not sharing information didn't seem a stretch in the least.

Btw, Damon's quote --

"The easiest thing would have been to just write them out and forget they ever happened, like the cougar on [Season 2] of 24. But that's not Lost. We should at least own up to it."

-- without context, is pretty uninformative. He seems to be saying that instead of doing the "easy thing" and just quietly writing the pair into the background they stuck to their guns and continued as planned.

Anonymous said...

First off.. worst. episode. ever. I PREFERRED the Tattoo episode! This episode basically turned Lost into Gilligan's Island... and not in the good way. These characters were useless, them finding the hidden hatch was a joke. If I remember correctly Locke only found that hatch after they found a map (map on the wall when his leg was pinned?). Yet Nikki blindly stepped on it, "Hey what's this?"

It seems this episode did ONLY a couple of things-
1) Give the Losties a walkie talkie
2) Bring up the issue of Sun/Charlie/Sawyer
3) Lando Sighting!
4) Bring up OBVIOUS foreshadowing- who didn't know the spiders were coming into play? AND When she threw the spider, who didn't know all the other spiders were going to come? And Artz said EVERY male spider would show up... apparently there's only one. I was hoping for them being swarmed by spiders.

This isn't CSI, this isn't a show about stand alone episodes. Basically it was a throw-away episode with few if any redeeming qualities (LANDO!... and stripper poles- I'll admit in the first few minutes of the show, I told Tasia's Mommy, "Best Episode Ever").

Again... worst... episode... ever.

- Tasia's Daddy.

TL said...

It was like the "Lost" equivalent of "The Zeppo,"

I haven't watched the episode yet, so I only read the first paragraph, but I love "The Zeppo," and smile just thinking about it. So thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

Why are so many people upset? I found it a pretty fascinating episode. I like that a show like this can cause so many people to challenge each other and come up with interesting theories whether wrong or right. What's to hate? I still think that the last episode I commented on about Locke watching tv with the "stolen Bolivian coal deposits" and the backwards words (remember Walt?) and "The Cobra" being mentioned are going to be significant. We now know that "The Cobra" is the television show and there is the diamonds/coal connection. I want to know who stole the coal and what the significance of that and the diamonds is with the show (why was Locke viewing this-brainwashing?) I can't see this not meaning anything a year from now. Back off haters, back off I tell ya!!!!

jim treacher said...

"ben's out-of-character schemeing seemed to me to be in a similar tone with the rest of the episode. the spiders, the diamonds, the starlet, the twists... in the sort of programs that used these devices, there was always a villain who was a little to vocal and exact with his plans."

Exactly. For any comics fans out there: This was the John Byrne fill-in issue. For the people who read actual literature: Yeah, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, totally. Anything more is just taking it all way too seriously.

I also liked how Sawyer managed to make "Hugo" sound like a nickname even though he's banned from using nicknames.

"This show is over."

Buh-bye.

"If the majority of the fanboys really start believing that the producers are making things up as they go along, there be big problems."

Guess what?

P.S. I thought the "Expose" stuff was kind of a commentary on all the syndicated shows that are shot in Australia and New Zealand and Canada and wherever else the has-been's and maybe-will-be's are working together these days.

Zodin2008 said...

Add me to the side who thought it was a great episode. Frankly, I don't really care if Cuse and Lindleof really planned to kill Nikki and Paolo all along or not. I want to be entertained every week and this past Wednesday night, I was thoroughly entertained.

It was a 1000X better then the Jack tatto episode...can we all agree on that? Plus, I loved seeing them incorporated back in old episodes and I loved that they had actually come across the hatch and Ben/Juliet before the main cast. That was hilarious and made my wife & I gasp when we saw it. I thought it was brilliant.

I think sometimes people (including myself) get too critical but like an earlier poster said, I would take a bad Jack tattoo episode any day of the week over any episode of some dull "CSI" show.

A bad episode of "Lost" (or something else brilliant or entertaining like The Shield, The Sopranos, Friday Night Lights, Battlestar, 24, etc.) is still better then any Drama airing currently on the CBS network. Isn't it noticeable on this sight that Alan talks about a lot of these shows, some of them with low ratings, rather then supposed ratings juggernauts like the CSI franchise?

Further proof why we need to completely scrap the old Nielsens and refigure this process out. Same with the Emmy's.