Thursday, April 19, 2007

Lost: Sometimes when someone has a crush on you, they'll make a mix tape to give you a clue

Apologies for what I think is the longest post subject line I've ever used, but Sawyer made the "Avenue Q" shout-out obligatory. "Lost" spoilers coming up just as soon as I pack some s'mores supplies...

After I panned last week's largely-praised episode, my friend Joe suggested it was time for me to stop watching the show, that I was now too bitter to ever appreciate anything they were doing, so why bother? I started to suspect he was right when, early in last night's episode, I started laughing at the revelation that Desmond used to be a monk. "Wow," I thought. "They're devoting an entire episode to why Desmond likes to call everybody 'Brother.' Not since they kinda sorta explained about Jack's tattoos have the producers bothered to answer such a hotly-debated question."

But after that, I grew to like "Catch-22," suggesting that my unrelenting bitterness really only comes in to play when The Others are involved. Much less of consequence happened or was revealed in this episode compared to last week, yet I can enjoy the show much more when we get away from all of Ben's convoluted mind games to nowhere. Desmond's been one of the better additions to the show, and if the flashback didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know -- he's a believer who tends to run from his problems -- at least I enjoy spending time with him. And even though I suspected Charlie would live (dammit!), there was still plenty of tension as Desmond did his best to give in to fate. Important question: in the universe where Desmond didn't save Charlie, was Penny the one in the parachute rig?

There were echoes of the "Little Miss Sunshine" episode, with Desmond taking Sawyer's place in our quartet of half-drunk outdoorsmen, and Jin's Korean ghost story was comic brilliance. I knew that Hurley was going to jump out of his chair even though he didn't understand the words, and I laughed anyway. That's the mark of a good joke.

(Also in good comic form? Sawyer, with the mix tape joke, stealing a Phil Collins tape from some guy named Bernard who I don't believe exists, and the 108 minutes gag at the ping pong table. The quadrangle bores me -- even with Evangeline Lily in her skivvies -- but the no-nicknames bet has really taken away the writers' crutch about Sawyer jokes, and the show is the better for it.)

Others have already pointed out that the parachutist's copy of Catch-22 was in Portugese, the same language as the researchers working for Penny in "Live Together, Die Alone," that Fionnula Flannagan (the mysterious time-bending figure from Desmond's last flashback) was in the photo on the monk's desk (a detail I would have missed had I not been watching on my computer, as I multi-task when it's on the TV) and that the monastery specifically makes only 108 cases of wine a year, but I mention them in case you're not trolling a half-dozen different "Lost" blogs and message boards today, and in the hopes of stirring some discussion even at this relatively late hour.

So what's going on here? How do Desmond's powers work? How do you parachute out of a helicopter? Will Sayid get to fix the satellite phone before Locke conveniently blows it up? Etc.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oooh. Good title. When emailing my friends I used "Brother, can you spare a Penny?" And my runner-up was "And that was the end of the monk, the monk, the monk."

I think it was a solid episode. Well written and acted. But not particularly exciting. We still don't know a ton about Desmond, so it was good to get more of his backstory. And at least they didn't try to promote the origins of his calling everyone "brotha" as the answer to one of the big mysteries.

I was totally psyched during the opening scene when I thought Charlie had taken the arrow to the throat. That would have been a great way to kill him--right at the start of the episode with no warning whatsoever. But of course they didn't really go through with it. It wasn't a big surprise the parachutist wasn't Penny (mostly because I'd seen a description for the episode that listed that other actress as playing "Parachutist").

As for the whole helicopter thing, I'm a little confused. Does its crashing had something to do with the magnetic pulse that brought down the plane? Or the hatch explosion that messed up the sub? Is that also why the satellite phone doesn't work now? Also, I'm not a helicopter expert, but if they're really in the middle of the ocean, would a helicopter really be able to get there? And how exactly did that woman eject from it?

Anonymous said...

Btw, last night's episode made two tv quotes pop into my head.

One was the "I'm gonna make you a mix tape. You like Phil Collins?" "I got two ears and a heart, don't I?" exchange from 30 Rock a few months ago.

And Jin saying "walkie talkie" made me think of Chandler's comment about Joey's non-English speaking grandmother on Friends: "She doesn't know 'hello' but she knows 'Capricorn One."

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure Bernard is Rose's husband. It is not surprising that you think he does not exist, as they have not been in the show at all this season.

Dennis Wilson said...

Who was the woman in the parachute, by the way? Was this anyone we've seen before?

Christy said...

I knew the photo on the desk had to be important because they showed it, but I didn't catch who it was. Thanks.

I liked the episode. No big moving the story forward, but I enjoy spending time with Desmond, Hurley, Jin and, yes, even Charlie. And I certainly don't mind living vicariously through Kate when Sawyer is around.

Anonymous said...

Alan was joking about the Bernard comment. And of course Bernard is Rose's husband.

Mike said...

I'm still a little confused with the whole Desmond situation. A few episodes back, didn't it seem like Desmond traveled back in time when he turned the key?

And were we led to believe that he had turned the key many times, and traveled back in time, and ended up back at the island, many times?

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

And if this is indeed what we are to belive, then how is Desmond existing on the island now -- after the key has been turned?

Shouldn't he only exist before the key turning?

Anonymous said...

I disagree about being bored with the love quadrangle. I like it. It forced me to acknowledge that I now like Sawyer more than I like Jack and I want Kate to like Sawyer too. That has been a slow change since the second season that I didn't fully realize until last night. Jack used to be the good guy we liked. Sawyer was the bad guy we didn't like. Now it is not so clear, and the roles may even be reversed.

Oh, and Josh Holloway is hot, so yay quadrangle.

Anonymous said...

Not that I am trying to argue with you about whether you are bored with something...

Katherine Coble said...

Oooh. Good title. When emailing my friends I used "Brother, can you spare a Penny?" And my runner-up was "And that was the end of the monk, the monk, the monk."

All good, but I'm still partial to "They call the wine Moriah".

I was totally psyched during the opening scene when I thought Charlie had taken the arrow to the throat. That would have been a great way to kill him--right at the start of the episode with no warning whatsoever.

And in such a way as to shut him up for good, too. Bonus! Result!

As for the whole helicopter thing, I'm a little confused

We at my blog are all quite confused about how a jet pilot ejected from a helicopter.

I'm with most of the world in that I'm bored by the others and bored with the quandrangle. If the show could figure out a way to exist without these two millstone elements, it would definitely be improved.

Dark Tyler said...

Not seen the episode yet, but I'm psyched to see it because (in case no one's mentioned it already) it's written by Brian K. Vaughan WHO OWNS YOU ALL.

Just thought you should know.

Anonymous said...

I think that Desmond has to go back in time over and over again, until he does everything right. Everytime he screws up, he starts over. Thats why he has the flashback/memories--because this has already happened to him. And that may be why the background in his picture with Penelope changes.

M.Chavez said...

I concur, Brian K. Vaughan is a real boon to the show. Even if you're not into comics/graphic novels, you should pick up Pride of Baghdad, an award winning short graphic novel that is just captivating. Then check out Y: The Last Man series and you'll see 'Lost-like' pacing. I really hope he can give Lost a good kick in the pants. That he starts off the ep. with a discussion between Superman and Flash is just the best. :)

Anonymous said...

Who knew Brian K. Vaughn could write something without tons and tons of lame, self-referential pop culture references? Maybe he is growing?

Kristin said...

Yes, you can parachute from a helicopter. We saw the explosion up in the clouds. Even low clouds are pretty high up.

And think about people who jump off buildings and bridges wearing parachutes...it's possible to successfully parachute from relatively low heights.

It seems to me that there is something protecting the island from 'invaders'...something made the plane break apart, and the same thing happened to the helicopter.

rachel said...

what, no House recap this week. I'm dissapointed in you Alan.

Michael K. said...

I gathered that the problem with ejecting from the helicopter isn't the height so much, but the fact that there are swirling blades of death directly above the ejected. And which other direction would one eject in? Maybe a little meta-jab at the general implausibility of the events in the show?

Anonymous said...

We keep talking about someone ejecting and I'm imagining Goose in Top Gun. But rather than being propelled up and out of the thing, I figure the person jumped out and managed to fall down and away from the helicopter before it started going down... Anyone know anything about physics or helicopters?

Alan Sepinwall said...

what, no House recap this week. I'm dissapointed in you Alan.

Rachel, "House" has never been a show I recap every week. It's too close to a procedural and I don't always have something to say about each episode.

J said...

I was really, really worried that Desmond was going to jump in front of that arrow. That he'd consider himself the sacrifice.Because the show kills off interesting characters like Desmond, and keeps Charlie alive (because they hate me).

But it was a real treat watching Chuckie get it at the top of the show, and I'm now hoping the producers let us in on Desmond's POV a bit more. The chance to watch Charlie die on a weekly basis would itself be a reason to tune in.

dez said...

Poor Charlie gets no respect (hee hee hee)!

I liked the ep, I assumed the Parachutist leapt from the helicopter (because me & teh Physics are like oil and water), and I want Desmond to stick around so we can see more flashbacks about him.

Oh, and I don't think we've seen the Parachutist before (I don't obsessively seek out LOST minutiae like I used to, so I could be very wrong about that). If she turns out to be some new version of Penelope, I'm gonna haveta choke a Lindelof.

baitshop3 said...

Why the Other hate? The mythology episodes are the only reason I watch...that's the whole point of the show, as far as I'm concerned, and I think Ben is far more interesting than any other character in the series. It's like Twin Peaks -- I had no interest in James Hurley's love life or Ben Horn's Civil War obsession once it was clear they weren't tied to any overarching plot and were just completely disposable vignettes to kill air time. If I just wanted the wacky misadventures, family dramas and romantic shenanigans of a bunch of good looking actors, I'd watch Grey's Anatomy.

Homertojeebus said...

Here, here, Charlie sucks! But is he more annoying than Claire? Discuss.
You Mythology Viewers are going to ruin it for the rest of us, just like you did the X-Files, Twin Peaks, etc. Don't you see that once you get the "answers", the show is over? The term "mythology" is amusing in this context, too, because the whole idea of mythology is not to find out how things end up, but why things are the way they are now.
Also, ask yourself this: How does "Guernica" end?

baitshop3 said...

>>Don't you see that once you get the "answers", the show is over?

-- Well...yes! Exactly! I would say a more apt comparison than Guernica (or any painting) is a novel or a movie, which tells a story, then ends when there's no more story to tell, rather than just padding and padding and padding. Better a short, tight series than 4 more seasons of a watered down version of what hooked me in the first place. X Files and Twin Peaks failed EXACTLY because they didn't have enough story, and eventually collapsed under the weight of their own narrative laziness, pointlessness and inconsistency. Don't you get bored with the same things happening over and over again (i.e., everyone's father issues, the love triangle) and waste of time vignettes that go nowhere? I'd say hanging on too tight and wanting the show to never change and just be the same thing over and over again is what's killing Lost, not "mythology" viewers (who don't actually have any power over the series except not to watch it if we're bored).

Anonymous said...

The camping trip reminded me of Stand By Me, Rob Reiner's movie from '86, especially that conversation as they were walking--the Flash vs. Superman. In SBM, it was, I believe, Superman vs. Mighty Mouse (one of them said that of course Superman would win, because Mighty Mouse is a cartoon and Superman is a real guy). There were four boys in that movie, and it combined comedy and drama in a similar way. Loved that movie, and liked this episode. Any Desmond-centric ep would be just fine with me, especially minus the Others. I agree, though, about Charlie--how cool if he really were killed off right away, totally catching the audience off-guard with no teasers ahead of time ("next week, someone will dieeee....."). Now that would have been something new and fresh (and as a bonus, no more Charlie).

Anonymous said...

It is possible to eject from a helicopter. In some helis, like new Apaches, the rotars pop off and then the double cockpit ejects with a parachute. Not in ejector seats like we saw though : ) Any1 know who the parachuist is?