This week: Now we’re talking – a classic LOST episode, even if it takes Hugo “The Audience Proxy” Reyes to deliver it.
– Here are some of the things that Hugo’s lottery winnings can’t pay for: a personal trainer, the respect of his mother, an assistant (to buy his family-size chicken buckets for him), the courtesy of Grandpa Tito’s neighbor’s daughter Rosalita to show up on time and/or enough etiquette training to take a first date to some place classier than the Tex-Mex joint that the local asylum uses for field trips.
– I don’t know what happened to her in the ParalleL.A., but Libby looked like she needed a full tube of chapstick and a three-month nap. I get it, crazy (or not crazy, just weirdly in love with fried chicken franchise owners they see on TV?) people look messed up, but Libby skittered into every scene looking like she’s hiding a shiner and a pill addiction. Either she’s secretly an MMA fighter, she’s been the victim of domestic abuse at the mental hospital or she is precisely the kind of damaged goods that could love a feeling-eating black hole of self-confidence like Hurley (D: all of the above).
– “I saw you and I had all these memories… of a roughly two-month period where I was walking through the rainforest and then met the fat Mexican Fabio but then some angsty black guy shot me.” I’ll bet it didn’t take much for Libby’s family (or her fight club) to agree that she should voluntarily enter the nuthouse.
– Back in the day, a trip to the Black Rock took a day and a half (or an episode and a half) and requisite trumpet fanfare. Now we’re making two trips an episode? I guess I’m not complaining about a faster pace, but Hurley doesn’t need advance notice just to get the exposition out. “Hurley, start gathering your huge red t-shirts and jar of Dharma mayonnaise, you only have 30 hours until I am back and stuff happens.”
– I have not been so pleased with a shock this season as I have with Ilana getting Ajira’d. Yes, it was another attempt to pare down a sprawling cast by taking out those with whom we have minimal emotional attachment (Bram, Dogen, Spectacles, now Ilana) – I mean, we don’t even have a last name to put on her bamboo cross in the garden/graveyard (mmm, corpse tomatoes). But no sooner was I scrawling a note about her throwing water in her knapsack ON TOP OF VOLATILE DYNAMITE then she suddenly became plural. I loved it for three reasons:
1. Enforced consequences for stupidity – at times, a rarity in LOST.
2. The possibility that she was so fed up with everyone else’s shit that she didn’t realize she was putting herself in danger. In other words, the guardian of the candidates who was hand-picked by their potentially-loving, potentially-guiding deity, wasn’t even able to do her job because she was so sick of Jack, Sun and Hurley.
3. The continued obliteration of all Others, almost in the order they were introduced, and therefore the possibility that Flight Attendant Cindy could be the last woman standing.
– [Doc Jensen Impression]: Ilana came to the Island with Caesar (as in Julius), whose namesake also begat the name for the month of July, and she’s trying to stop Locke (aka Candidate #4) so it’s no wonder that it looked like the Fourth of July when she got blown to Kingdom Come! (Kingdom Came? Kingdom To Be Coming? More on that later. [/Doc Jensen Impersonation]
– Maybe I’m overestimating the time it takes to get to the Black Rock. Clearly, Hurley has been on this Island enough to know the kind of shortcuts that put you about 5-10 minutes ahead of the rest of your party (speaking of, there are SEVEN of you now that your sort-of leader just took a class in Arzt History, so periodic head counts are neither cumbersome nor a waste of your time, FYI). I mean, if anyone would know how to limit walking time, he’s the guy. Maybe it’s an easier route than I think – just walk along the beach to the Statue, hang a left at the Lighthouse, stay close to The Flame (past the Tempest, duh) bear right at The Orchid, walk through the Dharma village and it’s right there.
– Also, not to slip into “REALLY?!” mode, but dynamite is the only way you can blow up the plane? First of all, why was that Plan A while the grenades at the Dharma Palisades were Plan B? Good call, the unstable explosives from the 1800s have probably held up better than the controlled military-grade equipment from 1970. I mean that’s just critical thinking. Secondly, it must be totally frustrating to go walking all over the Islands for explosives (orienteering for ordnance, obvs) in the first place. I mean, it would totally be so much easier if there was some kind of “tank” filled with “fuel” near the plane – perhaps even attached to it! – that could be triggered with, you know, fire. Anyone can start a fire! Claire can start a fire! Sun can’t start a fire, but she can draw a picture of it in her Moleskine.
– Sayid can’t feel happiness, anger or pain but he was flashing jealous looks when Herbert (the man in black, he who shall not be named until I named him) was all “ooh, Desmond.” He’s strutting through camp in all black like a born-again emo hipster, acting like he ain’t care, but privately that growing evil inside of him is taking shape as Middle Child Syndrome, an affliction Sawyer had been fighting off for a couple of episodes. Sayid isn’t the baby anymore and he’s trying to be as chill about it as Desmond but sooner or later someone’s gonna be like “quest for revenge” and he’ll be all “ME ME ME!” As much as I’ve loved the guy, he falls for revenge quests the way John Locke (not Herbert but the OG John Locke, the one whose Twitter handle would be @RealJohnLocke) falls for pyramid schemes. At this point you could get Sayid to kill someone by telling him they took his parking space. He can’t feel love or affection but he sure as hell wants it from other people. Also, Sawyer has now graduated to the first child, and everyone else is having trouble hiding their disgust with him. They’re all, “ugh, why don’t you go off to college and watch The Daily Show or something?”
– When The Island chose Jacob and Herbert and let them choose their powers, I think Herbert was like “I want to turn into smoke and be super-strong and super-fast and I want to be able to read people and appear to them as people or things from their memories and also take over the bodies of people who are recently dead,” and then Jacob thought about it long and hard and finally was like, “I want to always be able to fuck with the smoke chump.” So far, he’s definitely winning.
– How can you give me one episode of The Miles And Lapidus Comedy Team and then break them up just like that?! Miles spends two minutes with Hurley being like “You talk to the dead? That is WEIRD,” then he takes off at the first opportunity. No, you’re right, Miles, hitch your wagon to the two fallen Other lieutenants in the middle of existential crises. Your ability to identify with the dead is rivaled only by your amazing intuition with the living.
– Of course, I don’t fault Miles for not wanting to be around Jack and Sun. At least Sun isn’t so annoying (what’s the Korean word for “HUSBAND” anyway?) but Jack’s dropping passive-aggressive bombs all over the place. “Oh, if I was in charge, I wouldn’t do this retarded thing that you’re doing, but hey, I stared out into the ocean and realized that I shouldn’t always be in control and maybe I should let other people take the lead, so totally knock yourself out, bro, I’m 100% behind you, but only because of that previously acknowledged decision to stay out of it and just follow instead of being the leader some say I was born to be – say what? Maybe I should be the leader? Oh, go on, it’s your time in the spotlight, but don’t begrudge me if I revisit your suggestion at a to-be-determined critical juncture in our near future!”
– As a noted grouch about the dissemination of information in previous episodes this season, I politely sidestep any griping about the on-the-nose-ness of the whispers reveal. With the final season and all, I was kinda hoping that Hurley would break the fourth wall, look me in the eye and say “happy now, ass?” but I guess 3D technology hasn’t caught up yet. I will, however, nitpick about Michael’s body floating somewhere in the ocean (in pieces) nowhere near his soul and Whisper Christian showing up prior to his kaboom-ing to say “you can go now,” which is totally a dick move when he actually meant, “you can go…back to the Island where you’ll spend eternity.”
– Obviously one of the reasons this episode felt like a classic was because they are still reaping the benefits of the Desmond Cheat Code (just hit up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-b-a-DESMOND and the rules no longer apply) and he makes everything better, including the story development. Across seasons, decades and realities, only Desmond seems to be the one who knows when you need to encourage love at its purest and when you need to run a motherfucker down in your rental car. His appearance at the beach during the Hurlibby date was strange (“sorry, brother, I’d play some 80s pop love song right now but I’ve gotta go park in front of a school and attempt to kill a cripple”). So was his remarkable restraint in carrying small talk with Ben in front of the school kids – I mean, running over guys in manual wheelchairs takes a lot of focus to begin with, nevermind when the guy who shot you in another universe is yapping away in your ear.