Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lost: SUB-question...

Spoilers for "Lost" coming up just as soon as I finish my list of the top five musical crimes perpetrated by Stevie Wonder in the '80s and '90s...

They're on a nice little roll right now, this show. Even when I get frustrated by it -- say, any time Jack is on screen and not getting repeatedly punched in the face -- I'm engaged on a level the show hasn't reached for me since late last season. (Just as most "Lost" episodes are structured so that all the interesting stuff happens in the final minutes, so is a "Lost" season constructed to put all the interesting stuff in the May sweeps episodes. Hopefully, only doing 16 a year from now on will fix that.)

I hate Charlie. You hate Charlie. We all hate Charlie and would like to see him dead. And yet the show did a good job of making me care about his planned sacrifice. The Top 5 flashbacks didn't erase all the bad and/or annoying crap he's done over the last three seasons (especially but not limited to the Darth Hoodie phase from last year). But the idea of one of the show's more selfish, obnoxious characters willingly going to his death to save people he cares about (even if he really only cares about Claire, Turnip-Head and maybe Hurley) was a good one, and I found myself caring more and more as the episode went on...

...even as I suspected that Charlie would survive. I'm hopeful he still gets killed in the finale, both because he's my second-least favorite character after Jack, and because it would cheapen a lot of what happened last night for him to live. (Maybe they go for some Gift of the Magi irony and Claire dies instead.) Last night, though, they got me. I was expecting one of three outcomes: 1)Desmond's vision comes true to the letter, with Charlie saving the day and dying; 2)Charlie dies in failure, because the show is just that bleak sometimes; 3)Charlie succeeds and yet somehow manages to make it back up in time. I sure as hell wasn't predicting that he'd be besieged by some underwater commandos. Are they Others/Hostiles? Dharma? Something else entirely?

The rest of the episode had its moments as well -- the triumphant "Oh, they've been here all along" return of the wonderful Rose and Bernard being a particular highlight (though I fear they brought Bernard back just to kill him, because, again, the show is just that bleak) -- but I continue to hate Jack the idiot douche. There's still no good reason for why he was acting so mysterious with everybody for the last few episodes. (As Charlie put it -- and when Charlie's making more sense than you, you know you're a complete imbecile -- "Why does everything have to be a secret? Why not some openness for a change?") Also, Jack's obsession with killing The Others -- especially at the expense of a rescue plan -- doesn't really track with his willingness to make nice with Ben and Tom and everybody in exchange for a submarine ride back the mainland. Sometimes, Jack is an obstinate jackass because it fits his character, but lately, it's been just to serve the plot, and that makes me dislike him even more.

I'm hopeful the finale's good, as Lindelof and Cuse often do their best work in finales. (Even the first season finale was pretty great until the bone-headed decision to not go inside the hatch, and they learned their lesson on that score.) What did everybody else think?

46 comments:

Alice said...

I think the flashbacks themselves failed to make me like Charlie because they were even more heavy handed than the flashbacks usually are. I only really cared when he tried to hand Desmond the note.

As for the underwater people, I'm counting on one of them turning out to be Annie, hiding from/or protected by Ben.

Perhaps the season finale's flashbacks will show Jack getting punched in the face?

Christy said...

The expression on Jack's face in the closeup when he responds to Sayid made me want to jump through the screen with a baseball bat and smash his head. And guys, I'm normally a mild mannered old woman. I'm also the only person left who loves Charlie, so I was teary during much of last night's episode.

Do you think the spoiler that was the preview may contribute to tanking ratings?

The hobbit and the lost ring. How meta was that?

BF said...

We're still playing "Six Degrees of Oceanic" apparently, what with Nadia's cameo in Charlie's flashback.

I have to wonder whether Desmond's flashes are on the fritz, or whether Desmond knew what fate befelled Charlie and just lied to him. Either way, how will everyone else know whether or not Looking Glass has been de-activated?

Whatever the case, can't wait for next week.

Louis said...

Boy, people really hate Jack and Charlie, huh? They're not my favorite characters on the show, but I don't hate them, or Kate, either. The one character I truly loathed, Shannon, was mercifully killed off long ago.

And that brings me to the element of Lost that bothers me most: what's with all of these people falling in love? Sayid said he loved Shannon after they'd been on the island for what, twenty days? Why? She could understand a little French and she had great legs -- good reasons to lust after her, maybe, but "falling in love" is a little preposterous under the circumstances. And if I were on that island, I wouldn't turn down some alone time in a cage with Kate, but I think I'd have enough on my mind that I wouldn't be making puppy dog eyes at her all the time, or getting jealous when other guy looked at her. But hey, maybe that's just me.

Anyway, I enjoyed the episode. My feeling is that Desmond's vision will prove to be correct, but Claire's departure on a helicopter might not be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Like so many other things in this second part of season three, I think that at least part of Jacks obliqueness is because he knows something that we don't know yet that he knows. And it's big and it's bad. His flashbacks show he fixates on things, and his letting Sayid stay behind, I thought was actually a sign of a slight growing self-awareness. What has been great about the build up to the May sweeps is they took the time to set things up to really establish characters and situations. If Jack, Sawyer and Kate had not spent so much time on Alcatraz we wouldn't have as much invested in Juliet, Karl and Alex's role now would seem to have come out of nowhere and Ben and the other Others dissension in the rank would just feel contrived. You have to take the journey to get to the end and with Lost the journey seems to have odd segues and pit-stops that we only find out the relevance of at a later date.

Kristin said...

I go back to the idea that Ben is purposefully killing the pregnant women. There were 2 women that appeared in the Lookingglass Station...I think they either are or were pregnant and hid here to get away from Ben.

I think Desmond lied to Charlie about Claire being rescued. I think Desmond saw something in the future that would benefit himself if Charlie died. He changed his mind at the last minute, but Charlie knocked him in the head.

Desmond was 'weak' last time by not allowing Charlie to die and Penny to be the one coming down in the parachute. This time, he was more determined to follow through...little did he know the carrot of saving Claire was more than enough to make Charlie do anything to be the one who went underwater.

Joe in Haddonfield said...

We've seen parts of some of Desmond's visions, but not the Charlie/Yellow Switch one. Maybe Desmond sees himself getting on the copter, not Claire. But Desmond knows that Claire is the key to getting Charlie to do anything.

I think Charlie will be enchanted by the gun-toting fembots underwater and forget the switch, deciding to live on the other side of the Looking Glass.

The show has rebounded. With two hours next week, I don't worry about the previews showing too much. I wouldn't be surprised if the attack happens in the first half of the night with the second half setting the stage for next season.

I'd be happier with a cliffhanger centered on "now how to the Losties/Others get along" rather than "who's dead?"

I want Ben and Jack and Sayid and Kate and Sawyer to have to face tomorrow together.

Oh, and I want Locke to come back from the dead.

Anonymous said...

It's some underwater commandos in a box!

Sara Anne said...

I've always loved Sayid but I loved him the most when he got in Jack's face last night...I haven't hated Jack until recently but now he's just being really ridiculous.

I also liked them using pretty much all of their tricks (the flashbacks, suspense, the 'six hours ago') in one epsideo because they pack that much more punch when one is not totally exhausted.

Is it Wednesday yet??

TL said...

...even as I suspected that Charlie would survive.

The minute he started to dive in with his clothes on, I knew he would make it. There's no rational reason for someone who's going to swim a long way while holding his breath to leave his jeans on. But someone who couldn't spend the season finale running around naked....

TC said...

Does anyone else feel the knowledge that the show is definitely going to be around for three more years cut into the suspense for these last episodes of the season? I mean, you know they're going to Gilligan it up somehow. There's obviously always that distinct possibility, but now it's a sure thing. So you end up watching the finale saying, "How are they going to screw it up?" instead of "Ooh, what's going to happen!?"

Anonymous said...

Did no one else notice how casually Alex tossed out "IS he really my father??" to Karl????

I don't care much about Charlie one way or the other and I thought yesterday's episode was just fluff. I mean Cmon - if the Others are coming, why is everyon on the beach so placid??? This is not another trek - you're fighting to survive .... didn't seem like it!!!

AndyW said...

There are rules on this here island:

1.Ben is lying.
2. Sayid is always right.
3. Don't mess with the Honolulu police.
4. Your father? He sucks.

and, for God's sake Charlie,

#5 - THERE'S ALWAYS SOMEBODY IN THE HATCH!

Alan Sepinwall said...

4. Your father? He sucks.

And yet Charlie's father, in the brief snippet we saw, seemed to be pretty decent. So we're now up to three positive paternal figures: Kate's stepdad (who she thought was her bio-dad), Jin's fisherman papa (where the only problems are coming from Jin, not him), and now Charlie's dad. Unless I'm forgetting something from an earlier Charlie episode.

#5 - THERE'S ALWAYS SOMEBODY IN THE HATCH!

Not always. The Pearl was usually empty when one of the Lostaways visited it (save that time Paulo bumped into Ben and Juliet), and that crap-ass bunker the Tailies found was empty, too.

Dara said...

@ AndyW

HA! You are so right!

Dara said...

...in a funny way AndyW. Cause you are right too Alan!

kc said...

You know, for your basic deserted island this place supports more rogues, recluses, and renegade factions than an Afghan mountain cave. I suspect the missing russian from 'Pine Barrens' will show up next sipping champagne and eating cavier in a cabin next to Jacob.

Anyway, leave it to the end of the season for the show to get interesting. I for one enjoy Charlie for all his ego, primping and self-obsession. His struggles to do the right thing deserve some props and I think the island would be the worse without him. He bridges the good and bad the island profers to its inhabitants, offering it up like a drug to a user, testing their resolve.

Did anyone consider just cutting the cable first to see if they could stop power to the station and frequency jamming and get a call out??

Many interesting possiblities so I'm imagining a number of outcomes with a few shockers thrown in to leave us all hanging until next season.

Danny said...

Man, finally the return of Rose and Bernard. Even though I don't like the idea of just bringing them back to kill one of them off.

Also, I have to wonder about Charlies flashback to plaing guitar in the rain. Was that the same moment where, in Desmond's flashback/forward, he bumped into Charlie? If so, pretty odd I-can't-quite-get-my-head-around-it issues being played with in Desmond's timeline problems.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also, I have to wonder about Charlies flashback to plaing guitar in the rain. Was that the same moment where, in Desmond's flashback/forward, he bumped into Charlie? If so, pretty odd I-can't-quite-get-my-head-around-it issues being played with in Desmond's timeline problems.

That occurred to me as well. Over at The House Next Door, Andrew Dignan is suggesting this may be evidence that Desmond didn't really travel back in time after the hatch explosion, but I don't think that's it. Maybe Desmond is visiting and/or seeing alternate timelines, and that's why his predictions aren't always completely accurate? (See also his belief that Penny would be the parachutist.)

AndyW said...

Ol' Patch was "in" the Pearl, so I'm sticking by #5.

For #4, I'm assuming the reason Charlie remembers Pa's kind-hearted swimming lesson is that he beat the children mercilessly the rest of the time. (I got nothing for Jin's dad, though. The man's a saint. A smelly, fishy saint).

Alan Sepinwall said...

Ol' Patch was "in" the Pearl, so I'm sticking by #5.

You're thinking of The Flame, the place with the cows and the satellite dish. The Pearl was the underground bunker with the TV sets and the toilet where Paulo hid the diamonds.

Anonymous said...

Alan, the Lost Easter Eggs blog has comparison pics of Charlie in the rain during last night's episode and the Desmond-centric one with Charlie in the rain.

Charlie is wearing different clothes, et cetera, and it's enough to make you think he was just doing the same gig on the street on a different day.

Also, if Nadia was the victim of the robbery, WHO WAS THE ROBBER?

Boz said...

I have to rewatch, but I don't believe anything Desmond claims to have seen this time around has failed to happen. IIRC, he said he saw Charlie flipping the switch and then drowning. He didn't see this all happening right after Charlie swam into the hatch -- they just (I think) presumed as much. So, I think this prediction could still be on track.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Interesting point, Boz. Maybe we all assumed this to be the case because Juliet told them that Ben had claimed The Looking Glass was flooded. Maybe Charlie's misadventures with the fembots (good on ya, Joe in Haddonfield) next week will result in the station getting flooded for real, and Charlie flipping the switch at the last possible minute.

Timothy said...

I just have a simple question that may lead towards a very scifi-ish final three seasons.

Since when do record companies move fast enough to put out Greatest Hits albums for failed bands within a 90-100 day time period???

Time off the island is NOT synched to time on the island.

AndyW said...

No, they turned on the TV at the Pearl and saw Patch at the Flame. He was teleconferenced in. Totally counts.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Grr... you may have won this round, AndyW, but I'll win the war!

Pete said...

Timothy, I think the _Greatest Hits_ CD that the parachutist referenced may be something of a joke. How many albums did Driveshaft have? Maybe two, right? I don't think it would take the record company all that long to get the best off those two and put them onto one.

Mr. Bad Example said...

I just want a good answer to the following: why was it necessary for Jack to make everyone walk all the way up to the clearing just to show Rousseau blowing a tree with dynamite? Why not save the dynamite for when it's actually needed? Why?

Brain hurts...

BF said...

WHO WAS THE ROBBER?

Uh ... Brian, Michael's ex's Fiance? Why the hell not?

Just re-watched the last scene. Neither of the women on the Benthic Explorer looked pregnant.

Kat Coble said...

A few questions from folks over at my blog.

1. Why is Jack needing to parade the beach gang to the woods to show them an exploding tree? How non-stealthy and extra busy-worky is that?

2. Instead of the whole swim-for-many-minutes thing,why didn't they just use some of the dynamite to blow the power cable to the Looking Glass station?

Why?!?

Homertojeebus said...

"Benthic Explorer", lol, my wife said the same thing, although the Comic Book Guy in me says "Alec, Alec, wasn't the Benthc Explorer the name of the ship, and NOT the underwater drilling station?" I don't know if he's right, but he is persistent.
OK, Alan, fellow bloggers, will you all please acknowledge the Locke/Rousseau connection that I've been flogging for weeks and maybe look into it? That'd be great.
I hated Charlie for a long time, but last night's ep reminded me of why I had such affection for the character following the moth/coccoon ep. I think he is the embodiment of human weakness, and his character arc will mirror that of the caterpillar that Locke spoke about. I think Desmond's vision will come true.
Actually, I have a vague recollection of someone having that vision before, the yellow light flashing, the drowning. Unfortunately, I am not obsessive enough to really remember it. Does anyone else remember this?
Finally, I know I am a broken record, but we want the story to move, not to end. Try to relax and trust the show. If I told you today that this show would continue for 10 years, but remain this good, and going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole, would you stop watching?
Speaking of rabbits, what's with Alex skinning Ben's rabbit?

Anonymous said...

Alex was going to bring it to Karl. When she went to him he said "I thought you were bringing rabbit."

Anonymous said...

Line of the night, Rose to Bernard, "We'd better get you into something dark."

Anonymous said...

Jack rules and so does Charlie. Those who don't think so, do not rule.

Taleena said...

No, no not Benthic Explorer it's Deep Core One. Was I the only one hoping the Dharma Shark would get Charlie?

dez said...

homertojeebus, the Locke/Rousseau connection has been explored plenty in the past. A quick Google search should yield you plenty of results.

Did the actress who plays Rose lose weight? Either way, she looked good. I'm so happy she & Bernard are back! Now don't let them be wearing red shirts next week....

Homertojeebus said...

My inner Comic Book Guy wins again! Curses!

Kristin said...

The cable to the Looking Glass station was not its power supply...it just kept it connected to land, from how they described it. A land anchor of some kind. I don't think cutting the cable would have done anything about cutting off the signal.

Also, Russian knew that Sayid stole the plans. Could it be that Juliet lied about the Looking Glass station blocking signals? They want the Losties to get to that station for some reason or be busied with it. The Others (or Ben) knew they had the plans so they could find it. Remember how surprised Ben was when he found out the parachute lady brought along a sat radio (or whatever the heck it is)? If signals were being blocked, it wouldn't matter.

I don't trust Juliet or Jack at all. I really don't. Either one or both of them is not telling the truth.

Devin McCullen said...

Even though Mikhail knew Sayid had the plans, he didn't communicate with Ben until after Juliet had gone to the beach. I suppose Ben & Juliet could have had another way of communicating besides the tapes, but that would really seem like a stretch.

jim treacher said...

Rose: "I like you better since you came back, Jack. You're ALMOST an optimist." Rose rules.

"...I continue to hate Jack the idiot douche."

See, this is why you're the reviewer and we're just the fans.

I didn't notice it until last night, but they're finally letting Matthew Fox grow out his hair a little. Jack's had the same burr cut for 3 years, I mean 3 months. (Has anybody figured out what the exact date is? I'm figuring sometime in Dec. '04.)

I totally did not get that it was Nadia in Charlie's flashback. I didn't spot her when Locke met her either.

"what's with all of these people falling in love? Sayid said he loved Shannon after they'd been on the island for what, twenty days? Why?"

It's not the time, it's the mileage. These people have survived a plane crash, wild boars, smoke monsters, Tom Cruise's cousin, and countless other perils. They've bonded in a way most of us never will. Or at least the ones with their names in the main credits have.

"I suspect the missing russian from 'Pine Barrens' will show up next sipping champagne and eating cavier in a cabin next to Jacob."

Along with Richie Cunnigham's older brother!

Rebecca said...

All that heroic buildup, and they let Charlie live? Cheat, cheat, cheat! I hate this show.

jim treacher said...

BTW, a look at the Lost Easter Eggs blog and then IMDb confirms it: The blonde in the Looking Glass station is Tracy Middendorf, who's been on Angel, 24, and a bunch of other shows. She usually plays "woman in trouble" roles, so it's nice to see her kick a little ass. Especially if it's Charlie's!

Anonymous said...

Tonight there was a LOST recap show after Grey's. It actually helped me remember a lot of interesting stuff that apparently will be important later. They also confirmed a bunch of things we have already learned but could still use some confirmation.

I won't say anything about it just in case it turns out to be a spoiler. But it was sort of cool.

J said...

Thought this was a big steaming turd of an episode.

It was a given that Charlie's Last Ep was going to be treacly and heroic and have warm fuzzy flashbacks (or at least life lesson-y ones). But to give us all that and not off the stinking hobbit? Though the surprise at the end was a good one, sometimes it's better to fulfill, rather than subvert, expectations.

barefootjim said...

"Jack the Idiot Douche"

Was that a Kinks reference? If so, extra extra extra points!!