Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lost: Who's your daddy?

Spoilers for last night's "Lost" coming up just as soon as I apologize for using the tritest subject line possible...

Who woulda thunk it? Nearly three years in, and there's still the occasional surprise to be found in a flashback for one of the original characters. Until now, we thought that Jin became a legbreaker as a misguided way to provide for Sun; now we know that he was unknowingly paying off a debt Sun owed to her father. Puts a whole new spin on much of what we know about these two, without rendering invalid anything that came before. Plus, we got the usual sterling performances by the underused Daniel Dae Kim (now with spin kicks!) and Yunjin Kim (who, like Elizabeth Mitchell, could stand a sandwich).

In the present day, we have a bunch of mind-bending stuff, from the magically resurrecting Mikahil (are we sure his last name's not Rasputin?) to Parachute Lady's assertion that the wreck of Oceanic 815 was found, with no survivors. So which of the pre-existing Grand Unified Theories of "Lost" does that news fit into? Purgatory? Dream? Is the Dharma Initiative so powerful they could fake both the crashed plan and corpses of the passengers? And how did Bakunin survive the Sonic Wall of Death? Is there more than one of him? Are the island's healing powers so potent that Nikki and Paulo aren't the only people who were buried alive?

As for Juliet, the writers are trying to ride the knife edge with where her loyalties lie. She's still feeding intel to Ben, but she hates him. Question: with the sub and the communications station both blown up real good, what the hell could he be promising her? And should I care?

All in all, pretty good teevee. What did everybody else think?

36 comments:

Alan Sepinwall said...

One more thing: while I understand why Juliet wouldn't want to raise the prospect of abortion, why wouldn't Sun ask her about it? Or are the island's pregnant women doomed even if they stop being pregnant?

Anonymous said...

"All in all, pretty good teevee."

All right, who are you, and what did you do with Alan? Everyone knows Alan despises this show.

Todd VanDerWerff said...

I thought about the abortion angle too, but I can't imagine they have good equipment for it, and abortion sans said equipment is pretty unsafe, no?

Taleena said...

No one aborts a Miracle Baby Alan.

If you thought you could never have one and you had a chance you wouldn't abort it. You'd fight tooth and nail to buck the odds.

boston said...

i heard that the three words mean i'm not alone that the girl said but patch lied to the guys

Dan Coyle said...

Uneven episode for me, but leaning on the good side, especially since Bakunin is alive. I have a feeling that the writers liked Divoff too much to leave him dead.

But this begs another question: Do the OTHERS know he's up and about? Why do I get a sinking feeling he's got his own agenda?

J said...

I like the idea that The Island tries to rid itself of inhabitants by upping sperm counts and killing all pregnant women. Not a bad long-term plan.

The Sun-Jin storyline is one of the few established ones I enjoy flashing back to. If only because I think it's ballsy to do subtitled TV.

Benaiah said...

This was the best episode of the season for me. Sun is beautiful, but beyond that her face is wonderfully emotive and she really kicked butt. The revelation that Sun sold Jin out (knowingly) to protect him from his past was great. Another great moment was when Sun is waiting to find out the D.O.C. and you realize that she is doomed either way (though they didn't have to say it, it reminded me of the Sopranos flashing back to Big Pussy, we were all thinking it, why be obvious?).

If Mikhal can pull a Rasputin, then maybe Boone or Eko will come rising up too. Zombie nation, attack! That line from the Nikki and Paulo misadventure is sounding more and more like on the nose foreshadowing: "Nothing stays buried here" indeed.

Juliet walking the tight rope is a good way to keep the audience in suspense, will she, won't she... She will, because that is the most interesting thing for her to do. If Ben has a magic box then he could give Juliet a number of things.

All in all, great television. There are what, 3 or 4 episodes left? Who are they focusing on? I am hoping Jack (inevitable), Locke (the suspense is killing me) and Ben, with Charlie as the bonus fourth for when he mercifully dies.

Danny said...

Look, that episode got some trust back from me. I was legit surprised to see Mikhail return. I mean, way back during the first six episodes, Lindelof and Co. kept talking about "big plans" for eye-patch guy. (Can we please start referring to him as Rasputin?) So when he hit the sonic wall of death, I thought "Another death just because they didn't have anything else for him." Now he's back (from outer space?) and, at the very least, that's interesting.

I legit liked the revelation in the flashback. And I legit dug the ending, as sort of predictable as it might have been.

At least it's something wild and speculative enough for the characters (all of the characters, at once) to react to and deal with. Should be interesting to watch.

But now, wild speculation for the "plane was discovered" in the real world scenario: I'm going to go with, when Desmond blew up the hatch/time-warped he somehow created either some time anomaly-paradox situation or created some type of ersatz doppelganger for the wreckage on the island. Just wild speculation, of course, but it's more than the show has driven me to all season. So yeah:

"All in all, pretty good teevee."

Andrew Dignan said...

I'm not afraid to admit (okay maybe a little bit) that I found myself with a lump in my throat several times during the hour. Easily the best episode of the season and, ironically, reminded me of the Heroes episode "Company Man." What they did so well in the episode, and it's been a rarity for a couple years now, is use the flashbacks as subtext, commenting upon the emotions felt in the present as opposed to informing action in a broad, dime store analysis. It lent tragic shading to the events of the present without breaking down into a schematic past + present = revelation formula. I particular liked the unspoken bit of business tying Mr. Kwon (raising a son whom he may not have fathered) to Jin.

I'm largely bored with the island mythology and I believe I actually hissed when Bakunin showed up (even if I like the character and saw the actor's name in the opening credits so it wasn't a huge surprise). I'm sure the show will give us some late in the game explanation for this and I'm sure it will be highly unsatisfying.

Still, bravo to the episode. Heartbreaking stuff.

Dark Tyler said...

Ι thought the writing of the episode was particularly bad, but plot and character-wise it was kind of awesome. Plus, I'd follow Yunjin Kim to hell if I had to. So pretty. And so ridiculously talented. Her tears of joy while watching her baby kick? Brought me chills.

One question: if the Parachute Lady speaks english, why the hell was she speaking portugese? Maybe she only wanted Rasputin to understand her? But why? Plus, what she actually said, ("Eu não estou so") translates "I am not alone", not "Thank you for helping me." Cool, huh?

And regarding Oceanic 815' wreckage found with the passengers all dead? To quote Kitty Pryde, "Yeabuhwhat?"

Anonymous said...

Desmond's line regarding how the Lost-aways have killed more Others than the Others have Lost-aways might have been mathematically, but came off as an attempt to rewrite the history of the show. I hope they abandon this moral equivalence plot line quickly.

Homertojeebus said...

Dharma means truth, and the dharma about Lost is... there is no truth, or not one that matters.
The show hints at it all the time. The central tenet of Buddhism is that desire causes suffering, and the way to eliminate suffering is to eliminate desire. "Lost" viewers suffer, not because the show won't solve it's mysteries, but because they want the show to solve them. Stop wanting that. In Buddhism, you learn and learn, and you either never stop, or you reach enlightenment and there's nothing.
Another way to think of this is that "Lost" is a series of parables. There are some people who will hear the end of a parable and ask the sage, "Then what?"
The sage will then tell another parable, and another, until the novice either wises up, walks away, or dies of old age. I just like to hear the parables.
Alan, I think the Sun/Jin situation is best summed up by our old friend Sgt. Martens, from NYPD Blue:"Everything's a situation." Just when you think you know who the horrible person in the situation is, you find out you don't.
I think as relates to the show, the Buddhist angle will manifest itself somehow as this: The only way to get off of the island is to stop wanting to get off the island. Where you go from there is an open question.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Desmond's line regarding how the Lost-aways have killed more Others than the Others have Lost-aways might have been mathematically, but came off as an attempt to rewrite the history of the show. I hope they abandon this moral equivalence plot line quickly.

Plus, is it even mathematically correct? If you count the number of Tailies killed by Goodwin and others, isn't the total at least equal, with The Others maybe having a higher kill total?

Dennis Wilson said...

When Desmond noted that the Losties have killed more Others than vice versa, he either wasn't counting attempted murders or he wasn't aware of the Others leaving Michael, Sawyer and Jin for dead at sea at the end of Season 1.

On another matter, can anyone recommend a good Lost recap site with a healthy compendium of the most prominent theories about the show? A civilized forum would be nice, too.

Louis said...

I liked the episode, and I enjoyed the presence of the creepy Mikhail, but I'm vaguely concerned that his return could be an Alias-like, bring-'em-back-from-the-dead desperation move.

Michael said...

televisionwithoutpity.com sets the standard for snarky but accurate recaps. The episode-specific threads fill in gaps and thrash around theories.

The Lostpedia wiki has good theory threads as well, and tend toi stay on topic.

jim treacher said...

Jin got to do something!

Elizabeth Mitchell looks perfectly well-fed to me, especially from the rear. I see no visible problems.

Wonder if Mikahil had some sort of death-faking pill in a hollow tooth or something spyish like that. Wouldn't Locke and Sayid and the rest feel silly if the fence wasn't actually on, or doesn't do what they were told it does?

I'm with Benaiah. Yunjin Kim is one of the best actors on the show, and I wish they'd give her more chances to shine like this. Her scene with Jin's dad was heartbreaking, and her last scene with Jin's mom was chilling. But she wasn't in Lord of the Rings, so she doesn't get to be in every damn episode.

"One question: if the Parachute Lady speaks english, why the hell was she speaking portugese?"

Also Italian, Russian, Chinese...

"'Lost' viewers suffer, not because the show won't solve it's mysteries, but because they want the show to solve them. Stop wanting that."

J.J.? Is that you?

Dan Coyle said...

Bakunin had caked blood around his ears, so that wasn't faked. I think he had a death pill to fool Locke and the others, then scrambled out of there as soon as he could.

Anonymous said...

This show gives me a headache and I'm not even watching it.

Homertojeebus said...

"'Lost' viewers suffer, not because the show won't solve it's mysteries, but because they want the show to solve them. Stop wanting that."

J.J.? Is that you?

Wouldn't you like to not want to know?

Matter-Eater Lad said...

I think it's very significant that Juliet picked Carrie as her book club selection. I think that Juliet's heading toward some explosive, indiscriminate revenge/escape plan, because she's gone THAT crazy on the island.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I came here expecting a good bashing because I thought last night's episode was pretty awful... so disappointed (and I usually love the show). I thought the flashback was really boring and once again, the Losties on the island act like complete morons when it comes to The Others. I'm looking at YOU, Desmond.

dez said...

Everyone knows Alan despises this show

I know you're joking, but Alan's never indicated that he despises "Lost." Gets frustrated like the rest of us at times, but never despises :-)

I loved this ep. The reveal about Sun paying off Jin's mama was well-done, and I liked the mind-f*ck at the end. Also, I don't think Yunjin or Elizabeth need a sandwich. If anyone needs force-feeding, it's Evangeline. She's scrawny.

televisionwithoutpity.com sets the standard for snarky but accurate recaps.

Not any more. The new "Lost" recapper bah-lows. And the forums aren't that civilized, what with the Bitterness people vs. the hard-core blinder-wearers ratting each other out in the FTC over stupid things like not agreeing with each others' opinions. Ugh.

Homertojeebus said...

For all those who are losing confidence in this show, just think about how cool some of those flashbacks in the Nikki/Paolo episode were. How many of you vowed to search through your DVD sets for glimpses of them in those scenes? I am perfectly willing to be fooled into believing they've had it all planned from the beginning.
By the way, in support of my previous post, notice how the only Lostie chosen by the Others is Locke, who doesn't want to get off of the Island.
I'm sure someone has also noted somewhere that at least 2 of the main characters are named for philosophers (Rousseau and Locke)

Crewgrrl said...

"'Lost' viewers suffer, not because the show won't solve it's mysteries, but because they want the show to solve them. Stop wanting that."

Very interesting insight. I think that is why I like the show so much even when people get frustrated. I have stopped wanting so much to resolve things. I am interested in this whole everyone-on-815-is-dead thing. But I'm not overly concerned with what it means. I'll think about it again whenever they decide to explain it. I'd prefer sooner. But, really, whenever is fine.

Sun and Jin are da bomb. Jin was never hotter than when he was kicking some Rasputin butt.

I'm so glad the baby is Jin's. I got kind of weapy there. I figure if Sun has two months to live then they will get her off the island before 2 months. And then the show will end.

Susan said...

Well, if you're looking at the Other Death Count, don't forget that they've killed within their ranks a couple of times. Juliet shot the man on the beach (Danny?) to help Kate and Sawyer escape. And Mikhail shot Mrs. Klugh when they were captured by Locke, Sayid and the gang. But now I doubt both deaths - if Mikhail could come back from "death," perhaps the other shootings were either faked or reversible.

About the revelation that Flight 815 was found - I think the parachuter said that the plane was found and "there were no survivors." She didn't say "everyone in it was dead." "No survivors" could simply mean that they found the plane and didn't find any bodies (as can easily happen if a plane crashes over water) and it was presumed that no one survived.

Anonymous said...

Crewgrrl, I completely agree. I still enjoy Lost and look forward to it each week, but I'm just kind of cruising along, letting them explain things whenever they feel like it (or not). Part of it could be that I only have network "tee vee," which is fairly rare nowadays. Maybe someday I'll have more to choose from, and Lost will suffer for it. Until then, I'm just enjoying the ride.
~~Katie V.

Kristen said...

Don't they always say "no survivors" after a plane crash? As in, a plane crashed in the ocean and we found no sign of life so we are declaring that everyone is dead.

Personally, I am going with the idea that parachuter girl is from the future (or at least 2007) and Lost is still in 2004. So, sometime between 2004 and 2007 everyone on the island dies and then the plane and their bodies are found.

jim treacher said...

Or maybe "815 was found and there were no survivors" was the cover story? Maybe the Hanso Foundation owns a few media outlets...

Cat Pick said...

I too found the scene with Sun and Mr. Kwon to be terrifically emotional and moving. More so than any other scene this season, I'm sure. The actor playing Mr. Kwon was superb. His expression when he realized who Sun was absolutely killed me. I can't remember the last time I got choked up like that watching this show.

anon said...

susan,

The parachutist does say something like "they were all dead" after the "no survivors" line.


With her threatening of Mother Jin and her shooting of Trixie last year, Sun's shaping up to be a tougher character than anyone might expect. If I were Charlie I'd be watching my back.

Also, I think it's worth acknowledging Mr. Kwon, the first non-jerk dad on Lost...ever?

Anon

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also, I think it's worth acknowledging Mr. Kwon, the first non-jerk dad on Lost...ever?

And yet Jin still has issues with him, though it's far more Jin's problem than anything Mr. Kwon did.

Also, do we count Kate's stepdad, or is it only bio-dads who are dicks?

Anonymous said...

Personally, I am going with the idea that parachuter girl is from the future (or at least 2007) and Lost is still in 2004. So, sometime between 2004 and 2007 everyone on the island dies and then the plane and their bodies are found.

Well, it could just be that time moves more slowly on the island and while it is 2007 in the "real" world only 90 days have passed on the island.

Tasia's Daddy said...

As for the death count, well desmond has no way to know who's killed who. It's not like he can just watch the newpapers. Plus, Michael gunned down two of his own. Was he an Other, or a Lostie?

As for Mikhal's rebirth, he did say that people heal at a unusual rate on the island. Maybe if you're don't have any permanent problem (bullet in the brain/heart) then you're body can heal... or if you not fully dead yet... (You're not foolin' anyone you know. I feel happy... I feel happy...). Or maybe people on the island have mutated abilities like Wolverine... wait... this is how HEROES starts. A group of people were taken to the Dharma island, experimented on, let go, and left to procreate and create powerful offspring like Peter and Hiro.

THIS SI

Dan Jardine said...

Sorry for coming to the show so late, but I don't seem to get around to watching Lost until the weekends.

Well, it is pretty clear now that Patch MUST kill Charlie. Desmond let him go, Charlie is convinced Patch will bring the hordes down upon him. And Charlie will be right, and Desmond will carry around a world of guilt.