Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lost - Part 9

I’ve always considered Lost to be an actor’s dream. Not only will you always have work (well, until this season is over), but you can expand and grow into your role. Nearly every character in the run of this show is multidimensional and never what they initially seemed. Consider Sawyer transforming from the corrupt, self serving, con to the lovable, nickname slinging, savior. (Pop quiz, hot shots: what was the first nickname Sawyer utters? Answer at the end.) Locke turns from self doubting, faithful follower to menacing dark figure trying to end the world (or so we’re told).

Despite all that, I was pleasantly surprised to see our old friend Patch back in action in Sun and Jin’s Real World story. Nice to see the Lost people allowing the fringe characters to spread their wings, as well. Patch shows up so abruptly and different looking it took me a minute to figure out who he was. From slightly deranged Dharma outcast who was nearly indestructible (I still think he shows up on the island again!) to manicured and polished, multilingual translator for Mercenary Dude’s brain trust.

He still loses an eye, though.

Spoiler Alert! Sorry, was that supposed to be first?

I also thoroughly enjoyed Lost playing with our expectations (as always) by using Sun’s top button as not a symbol of submissiveness but as a sexual game (Pick me! I want to play!). The show focused a lot on Sun’s tomatoes, too, which was nice.

Oh, and there is the small item we’ll need to discuss about what ‘The Package’ turns out to be. I guessed, by the way, which totally pissed off the wife.

Let’s get it on!!

What Happened

Real World: We see Sun and Jin back at LAX, just arriving from Oceanic 815 where the custom official is trying (poorly) to explain to Jin that he can’t have his 25 grand back. He can have the watch, though, so he can witness his life tick away. Having already missed the scheduled meeting he and Sun check into the hotel…wait for it…

…into separate rooms. Turns out they are not married in this Real World. Don’t think that will stop them, though. Jin shows up at Sun’s hotel room door and they play ‘Which Button Should I Undo Next?’ until they wake up in bed the next morning. The problem is Jin is still working for Sun’s father and, since he’s fond of his own testicles, is trying desperately to keep their relationship secret.

Sun suggests to Jin that they run away together. She’s saved up some money to get started. Jin is shocked (and I’ll bet aroused) to find out that Sun has been planning this getaway for a while. ‘Do you want to be with me or not?’ Sun asks. Well, DUHHHH!!

Just as Sun is about to tell Jin something important (gee, I wonder what it could be?) there is a knock on the door. Jin hides in the bathroom while Sun answers to find Mercenary Dude. He’s the man Jin was supposed to give the $25,000 and watch to, but since they don’t have the money things get a bit complicated. Sun explains (through translator Patch) that she can get the money; let her go to the bank and get it and all will be flowers and sunshine. Mercenary Dude agrees but keeps Jin as collateral.

At the bank it’s explained to Sun that her account is no longer open. Her father had it closed and transferred all the money to one of his other accounts. Dim Sun wonders ‘why would my father do that?’ to which Patch replies ‘Well, gee, maybe you should consider what you’re doing that he doesn’t like’, only more suave and sophisticated like.

Mercenary Dude and his right hand man tie Jin up in a chair before right hand man goes to get Sayid. As he’s taping up Jin he explains that Papa Sun doesn’t appreciate Jin fooling around with his daughter. That twenty five grand was actually MD’s fee for killing Jin. He tells Jin ‘Some people just aren’t meant to be together’ which is what people tried to tell me about beer, but I fought on and was rewarded with a long, meaningful relationship. Sure I was 15 at the time, but you can’t hide from your heart.

As Jin is in the fridge, we hear his side of the Sayid massacre. Short haired Sayid hands Jin a box cutter for him to free himself, gives him a ‘good luck’ and takes off. A while later in comes Sun and Patch who find bodies littering a perfectly good kitchen. Patch finds Mercenary Dude still alive, asks who did this and gets an ungrateful ‘Behind you, idiot!’

Jin has a gun to Patch’s head, tells him to drop his gun but Patch calls his bluff and there is a shoot out. Jin shoots Patch right in the eye (told ya!) only to turn and find Sun has been shot by a stray bullet. As Jin carries her out, Sun tells him ‘I’m pregnant!’

Yup, called that one, too!

Before we get to the rest I need to get food. Bacon, egg and cheese on English muffin sounds about right. Be right back.

Ok, fueled up and ready to go.

Island World: We start by looking over Fake Locke’s hangout (would you call people scattered over the jungle a camp?) through night vision goggles. Fake Locke sits down with Jin to flesh out his story for this episode: His last name is on the wall and the only way everyone can leave the island is if everyone on that list leaves together. He also tells Jin that he’s working on getting Sun and him back together as soon as possible.

Fake Locke leaves, puts Sayid in charge which is like putting the wooden Indian in charge of the cigar store and tells him he’ll be back by sunrise. Jin, who has had quite enough of this, thank you very much, packs up, tells Sawyer he’s going to find Sun on his own and questions Sawyer’s loyalty to Fake Locke. Suddenly everyone gets darts in their necks or asses and they go down hard. Out walks Tina Fey and the cast of ’30 Rock’ to collect Jin and leave the others with crimped necks, bad backs and poor attitudes.

Let’s finish up Sun’s story first. She’s back weeding her garden that she started three years and one child ago when Jack approaches asking if she thinks Richard is coming back. ‘Don’t care,’ she answers. Jack says ‘Well there is a reason we were brought..’ and is interrupted with ‘Yeah, don’t care about that either. Just leave me alone.’

Well then.

Jack leaves and is replaced by Fake Locke who offers his hand to Sun in an offer to reunite her to Jin. Sun does what everyone else should have done long ago and runs for it. Only she runs straight into a tree and knocks herself out. Well done!

Ben (of all people!) finds Sun unconscious and wakes her to find her babbling in Korean. She manages to get out that Locke did this to her, but she can no longer speak English. Like everything in this show, I’m sure there is a reason behind this. Let’s just be patient.

Just then Richard and Hurley reappear, brightening the spirits of Ilana and…well…just her. Alpert tells Jack to pack up, they’re leaving. He explains that the Ajira plane is the only way Fake Locke can get off the island so they’re going to destroy the plane. Sun, understandably, is ticked off and gives Richard a piece of her mind. While nobody can understand her, they get the idea.

Jack approaches her a bit later with a notebook and a pen. If she can’t speak English maybe she can still write. She can! That Jack is so smart! She explains what Fake Locke told her and that she doesn’t trust him. Jack asks her ‘Do you trust me?’ Strangely, she does and takes him up on his promise to get her and Jin together and off the island.

Quick sidenote: I was a bit uneasy with Jack offering his hand to Sun like Fake Locke just did. As if Jack isn’t exactly the ‘good guy’ he is pretending to be. I have a feeling his promise isn’t going to end well for anybody.

Meanwhile Fake Locke comes back to camp astounded that his entire cult is unconscious on the jungle floor. Can you imagine his thought process: ‘Man alive, I leave here for TWO MINUTES and look what happens!’ He recruits Sayid to take a trip to Hydra Island to see what exactly is going on. Sawyer asks why he doesn’t just go all smokey and ‘fly his ass over there’, which is a GREAT question. Fake Locke explains that if he could do that, don’t you think I would? Not that great an answer. Score one for Sawyer.

When they get to the island, Fake Locke is met by Widmore who tells Locke that he is vaguely aware of who he really is through ‘mythology and ghost stories’. Locke tells Widmore that a wise man once said there is a war coming and it looks like it just arrived. Damn, these two talk a good game.

During this time Jin has been kept in that brainwashing Room 23 until Tina Fey comes to taser him. He meets with Widmore who gives Jin Sun’s digital camera for him to review. On it he sees Sun for the first time in 3 years and his daughter for the first time ever. Widmore explains that if Fake Locke is to get off the island ‘everyone you love will cease to exist’ only in a cool British accent.

‘What do you want from me?’ Jin asks.

Widmore replies with ‘First, I think it’s time you see our package’ which could have been a homosexual come on, but actually refers to who (not what) was locked in the sub room.

And who is that person? Why it’s none other than Desmond Hume back – once again – in his own personal hell. Sayid witnesses Desmond’s arrival, by the way, because he’s spying for Fake Locke. Fake Locke, it seems, doesn’t like surprises.


What We Learned

- Desmond is ‘The Package’, which actually raises about 155 other questions. Typical…

- Mercenary Dude is a top notch multitasker. Jin in the freezer, Sun getting his money, interviewing Sayid in the kitchen. Sure things go south at that point, but you can see how he became good at his job.

- Sun and Jin are not married in the Real World, but still very much in love. Awwwww.

- Whoever owns the restaurant where Mercenary Dude was shot is going to be royally pissed when he shows up to clean.

- Never run while looking behind you.

- Per Fake Locke: ‘The only way to leave the island is if all the names on the cave wall leave together’. We could use a passenger manifest to follow.

- Claire can deal with Kate anyway she pleases once all the necessary passengers are on the plane. My money is on Kate.

- Also, Kate’s name isn’t on the cave wall ‘anymore’. It was, however, on Jacob’s Lighthouse wheel.

- For ruthless criminal types, Mercenary Dude and his crew are extremely polite and friendly.

- Sayid can’t feel anything. Pain, regret, hunger, ice cubes on his fillings, mosquitoes, nothing. Fake Locke tells him this might be a good thing ‘considering what’s coming’.

- Sun’s father is still a dick in the Real World.

- Jin doesn’t hide very well. Couldn’t even get behind the door, man? Give it some effort.

- Hurley couldn’t track anything that wasn’t covered in bacon grease. By that same token, Richard smells like bacon.

- Sun is pregnant with a bullet ridden fetus. Anyone else think Jack will be the one to save her? I’m raising my hand.

- Ben is still dealing with trust issues as everyone at the beach camp thinks he smashed Sun on the head.

- Widmore’s team has good aim with those darts, even if they were fired by a geo-physicist name Zoey (that would be Tina Fey). Yeah, I’m skeptical, too.

- Sawyer ‘ain’t listening to nobody’ which is actually a double negative and means he is listening to somebody.

- Sun’s got stubborn tomatoes.

- LAX customs basically saved Real World Jin from a premature death.

- Sun has an intense mirror moment just like Kate and Jack. For the record this makes three Real Worlders who have had intense moments like that. Jack on the plane and after a shower regarding his appendix scar, Kate just after finding the stuffed Orca in Claire’s bag, and now Sun. What do all three have in common? They are the three that trust Fake Locke the least. Probably means nothing, but wanted to point it out.

- Bumping into a tree can make you unable to speak English.

- Sun doesn’t care about Alpert or being a candidate or saving the world or her dead garden.

- Jack doesn’t brush sand off his hands before offering it in friendship.

- Zoey (Tina Fey) is a geophysicist, which I’m pretty sure is a made up profession. She also has interest in maps Jin created 30 years ago while working for the Dharma initiative.


New Questions

- What exactly is Desmond doing back on the island? How is he Widmore’s secret weapon?

- Is there something special about Desmond? Remember Faraday telling everyone that Desmond was his ‘constant’ and he also mentioned Desmond being ‘different’ during their time flashes when he went to tell Desmond to contact his mother in the future. Man, this show sounds crazy when I put it in writing!

- Is Widmore aware that Desmond is special? Is that why he has been pushing Desmond towards the island all this time? The sailboat race, keeping him away from his daughter, now bringing him back. What is the purpose?

- Why does Fake Locke need all the candidates to leave the island with him? Once he’s off the island what difference does it make who is left behind?

- What the hell is going on with Sayid? Novocain for the soul? Is that part of the infection or is something else going on? Anyone else get the impression Fake Locke wasn’t even sure what to make of it?

- Did Sun’s father really need to send Jin all the way to LA to get killed? He couldn’t find someone closer to Korea to carry out the job? Make it look like a car accident or something? What kind of half assed mob boss is he?

- Why didn’t Widmore’s people just take all the candidates from Locke’s camp? Why only Jin? Hell why didn’t they take EVERYBODY then leave a video camera behind to tape Locke’s reaction? That would have been priceless.

- Why can’t Fake Locke turn into Smokey and fly to the other island? And why doesn’t he turn into Smokey instead of running after Sun? Is his ability to morph becoming restricted somehow? Remember Ilana said earlier that he can no longer change his appearance after becoming Locke. That he’s ‘stuck like that’.

- What happens to Jin’s $25,000? Do the officials split it? Do they invest in bonds? Does the government use it to buy fuel for tanks? Do they throw it on a bed and roll around in it?

- Also, why didn’t Fake Locke take Sun with him after she knocked herself out? Does he need permission in order for people to go with him?

- Where is Penny besides trying not to cheat on her boring husband in ‘FlashForward?’

- Did Widmore drug and kidnap his own son in law? Sure seems that way.

- What is Widmore’s timetable? He mentions it to Zoey when she brings Jin in before schedule. Come on, Richard, improvise.

- What did Fake Locke mean when he said Kate’s name is not on the cave wall ‘anymore’? Was it on there once and has since been removed? Did he simply erase it? Cross it out? Were there second thoughts about her being a candidate? Did a rain storm accidentally wash it away?

- What does Widmore mean when he tells Jin everything will ‘cease to exist’? Does the world end if Fake Locke gets off the island?

- Has Real World Sun not had an affair with her English teacher? Does she know English at all?

- What happened in Real World that Jin and Sun wind up unmarried?

- WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???!!!!!

Quiz answer: Sawyer calls Hurley 'Lardo' when he attempts to mediate a fight between Sayid and Sawyer in the pilot episode.


Today's distraction: 25 rare celebrity pictures. If you doubted the JFK - Marilyn Monroe affair, this should put those to rest.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Catching Up

How are you? Been a while since we’ve had time to catch up. Hope things are going well.

Much to discuss so let’s just get right to it, shall we?

- My brackets are all officially kaput. Syracuse playing hot potato sure didn’t help. Man alive did they look awful in the first half last night. Thankfully that was one of the early games last night which meant I wasn’t thinking about any stupid brackets and got to thoroughly enjoy the Xavier – Kansas State epic. I was at a bar (no really!) and the entire place was going nuts. That is why March Madness continues to be the greatest three week stretch in sports.

- You know how most bars will take your credit card when you start a tab? Mine is still at the bar which I didn’t discover until this morning.

- Last weekend I went up to the tip top of my house to patch the leaking roof. While up there the wind started gusting fairly hard. I didn’t mind that much until I heard a shrieking sound coming from the edge of the roof. That sound was the ladder sliding off the metal gutter. The wind was blowing so hard it was knocking the ladder over.

Now, you can see how this would be a problem. Me - stuck on the top of my house because the ladder got knocked over. Since I know my disasters amuse you I know you’re laughing. Well - in yet another argument on why satellite is better than cable – the ladder was stopped when it hit my dish. This allowed me to hook it with my foot and put it upright. Score one for coincidence.

- While I was saved from having to jump 20 feet to the ground, the ladder knocked my dish out of position. As you can imagine this was a big problem considering Madness would be ensuing later that day. It took Wifey and I about 10 minutes to get the signal back. Love the dish!!

- The grocery store down the street from us has a bank of different gumball machines that sell random, cheap, crappy toys for 25 cents. Eldest decided to get him and his younger brother fake mustaches. He even got the correct colors to match their hair. He puts it on and proceeds to head outside to play basketball. ‘I’m Larry Bird today!’

He is my son.

- Our office March Madness pool is a complete and utter clusterfuck. There are only three people still alive with the chance to correctly pick the champs. One has K-State, one Kentucky and one Ohio State. None of them are in the top 15. I have never seen such a mish mash of possibilities. There is a solid chance that the winner won’t have to score more than 100 points.

- My best man has been a stay at home dad the last few months so when I suggested we get together for a round of games he enthusiastically agreed. His text to me said ‘Be here at 7 sharp! I need to get out of here!’ The joys of parenthood.

- His kid is – for lack of a better phrase – fucking enormous. His head is so big I’m shocked he can keep it upright. To make matters worse he’ll need to start wearing a helmet due to a flat spot on his skull. So this poor kid will be sporting one big ass head AND a helmet for 6 – 8 weeks. He’s going to look like a living bobblehead.

- I’ve joined a fantasy baseball league and already feel like it will be too much work. If I stay focused past May, I’ll be proud of myself. I would tell you who’s on my team, but I missed the draft and the computer picked for me. I haven’t even checked my roster. Plus, I know you really don’t care.

- Since I stayed out until the final buzzer of the double over time game last night, I am beyond exhausted. Got home around 1:30 and was up at 6. Fuck that!

- Got an email recently announcing my 25th high school reunion. Debating whether to actually go to this one or not. I have yet to make one of them and wasn’t seeing any reason to attend this one until my buddy (who also has never gone) said to me last night, ‘You know, we’re in pretty good shape. We should spend the summer kicking it up to the next level and show up to the reunion completely ripped.’

And you know what? That doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Except for the entire ‘going to the reunion’ thing. Let’s just skip that.

- Besides, I already have motivation to get in better shape. For our 15th anniversary wifey and I splurged and will be spending it in the same spot we spent our honeymoon: Grand Cayman!! Oh YEAH!!! Seven Mile Beach, here we come! We’re taking the boys with us and they are already excited to see the turtles and stingrays and tarpons. If you’ve never been and love tropical locations, make this a must stop. People are extraordinarily friendly, the weather is perfect and the water is crystal clear. Great for scuba diving and snorkeling, too! Can’t….WAIT!

- I gave ‘FlashForward’ another shot when it returned last week. My hope was they would get rid of all the moping and actually focus on telling the story. By George, I do believe they got it! The two hour episode was the best yet and I have high hopes for the rest of the season. Hopefully it wasn’t a one night stand and develops into a lasting, meaningful relationship.

That said, kill off Harold already. Or Kumar. Whichever one he is.

- I know I’m a born cynic and self created atheist, but I’m still driven insane by moments like this:

Watching a television program called ‘Chronicle’ which is a local news show that goes in depth on certain issues. This one happened to be about the medical and scientific progress being made regarding the human genome and genetic mapping. One of the segments was about a couple trying to conceive and having all sorts of problems. On top of that both of them were carrying the gene for some rare, deadly, incurable defect that they didn’t want to pass on to their child.

Enter gene mapping science to not only help them conceive (outside the womb), but to make sure that specific gene was not carried over to their baby. Everything went well. At the end of the segment they show the mother and father playing with their adorable little girl. The wife says to the reporter, ‘She really is God’s little miracle!’

What?

No, really…WHAT??

Sorry, lady, God had absolutely NOTHING AT ALL to do with your baby. Not one fucking thing. You should be thanking science and the doctors and research and that you had enough money to pay for this procedure (over 100 grand). Just say ‘We’re so lucky we have her’ and leave God out of it. If God existed and was sending you any message it sure seemed to be ‘Don’t ever have kids’.

- Last week I finagled an invite to another charity function that included silent auctions on several local games. My brother in law and I left the wives at home and had a good time drinking free beer and eating food provided by Kelly’s Roast Beef. While chatting I was struck by the stunning number of good looking women attending. They were everywhere.

After the fifteenth looker walked by, I said to my brother in law, ‘Why didn’t we know about these things when we were single?’ He wholeheartedly agreed.

Therefore, I’m passing along this tip to all the single guys out there. Get yourself on the charity circuit. You might have to dress up a bit, but it will be well worth your time. Normally these things have a cover charge but there will likely be free booze and food and women EVERYWHERE!

And there is an added benefit. Silent auctions are the best place to find good tickets to games for below face value prices. I scored two tickets to the Celtics – Thunder game next Wednesday night. They’re in the Club Level and I paid $150 less than face value.

It all went to the Make a Wish Foundation, too, so you’ll be contributing to a very good cause no matter what charity event you choose.

On that ‘get single guys laid’ note, I’ll consider my job here done.

Enjoy the weekend!

Today’s distraction: Your survival guide for taking a dump at work. I suggest they add this to every Employee Handbook.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lost - Part 8

We’re friends, right?

I’ll open up to my friends and admit that I spent last night’s Lost restless. There wasn’t much revealed we hadn’t already figured out about Richard Alpert (Excuse me…Ricardo). Did we really need a full 10 minutes of him trapped in the hull of Black Rock?

It didn’t progress the story of our island people much, either. Ricardo spent most of his time bug eyed and talking gibberish with words underneath his face. Yes, I was disappointed.

Right up until the last few minutes. Lost is, after all, an exercise in patience.

While Hurley reintroducing Richard to his long dead wife was one of the most emotionally charged scenes in the entire run of Lost, it did something more important. Richard Alpert is no longer the mysterious, supernatural creature we’ve known for the past few seasons. He is now just like our survivor friends: Human, damaged and guilt ridden over having failed a loved one.

It also provided me a brand spanking new idea that I’ll share at the end.

Let’s get to it.

What Happened

We open with Ilana coming out of her nose job surgery with Jacob asking her for help. Considering her condition, Jacob doesn’t have very good timing. He tells her that there are six candidates that she needs to protect; take them to the Temple and ‘Ricardus’ will know what to do next.

‘Who dat?’ everyone asks.

That would be Richard Alpert who laughs at the notion he would know what to do next. Richard, you see, is becoming a bit unhinged. It can happen when you’ve lived for 150 years on a remote island and seen everything he has. Hell, I wouldn’t have made it 10.

Richard tells them all that they are not on an island, but in Hell. ‘We’re all dead,’ he tells everyone before stomping into the jungle in an attempt to start listening to someone else. Such a hothead!

During this way too brief stay on the beach Jack learns that Locke is alive but not really Locke at all, witnesses Hurley talking to himself in Spanish (or Portuguese or whatever), and Captain Frank learns that Richard hasn’t aged in a really long time.

‘Now how did that happen?’

Glad you asked, Frank!

Cut to 1867 (the year of my birth!) where Richard (Ricardo in his home land) is galloping through another lush island world. This time it’s the Canary Islands and he’s heading home to his sick wife Isabella, which is the legally required name of every good looking Spanish woman on television (that or Maria). After she coughs up blood in the most adorable way possible, Ricardo vows to save her and takes off to a doctor.

Arriving soaking wet and pathetic, the doctor tells Ricardo that he has medicine that will help his wife, but it will cost him. Richard takes out his life savings (10 bucks) and his wife’s gold cross but is scoffed at by the doctor as only Spanish doctors can scoff (very derisively). Richard isn’t leaving without the medicine and tries to take it from him only the clumsy, fat doctor falls and bashes his head against his very expensive and concrete hard table. Should have gone with balsa wood.

Richard thinks ‘Eff it!’ (in Spanish) and takes off with the medicine only to get home and find Isabella dead. He’s arrested, sentenced to death and the company of the dickiest (it’s a word!) priest that doesn’t molest children before being sold - by that same priest – for an all expensed paid trip to the New World.

That’s right. His trip involves being manacled in the bottom of the Black Rock which comes flying so fast into the island that it knocks Jacob’s precious statue into pieces. Way to bring it to the island, Jacob! Little to the left, maybe?

Richard wakes to find himself still shackled, but now in the middle of the jungle. The commanding officer comes down and starts killing the prisoners one by one. When he gets to Richard we hear the familiar WAA OOOOOOOO of Smokey just before he takes out the entire crew. Smokey comes up to Richard but doesn’t kill him. Just flashes and tries to show off which is wasted on him since Richard has his eyes closed.

After a run in with a man eating boar, which Richard inexplicably tries to kill with a nail that wasn’t even sharp, he hears a woman calling. Down the stairs comes Isabella. What the?? She tells Richard that they are both dead and in Hell which is really the most plausible explanation of the island we’ve heard so far. When they hear Smokey coming, Richard tells her to run. She does and gets snatched up by the smoke. D’oh!

Later, as Richard is near death, a man comes in and gives him some water. It’s the creepy DA from ‘The Good Wife’! I mean…the man in black! He tells Richard they are indeed in Hell and that El Diablo (that’s Spanish for the Devil) has taken his wife. He says he’ll set him free but Richard must do whatever he asks, without question. Considering his options, Richard agrees.

After a boar dinner (tables flipped, boar!), MIB tells Richard that he needs to head west to the foot of the statue and kill the man there with the same knife Sayid tried to kill Fake Locke with earlier this season. Only, it’s much shinier. ‘Don’t let him talk. If he speaks to you it will be too late’. Man, that sounds familiar.

Richard does as he’s told only to get his ass handed to him by a tougher than he looks Jacob. Alpert tells Jacob that he was told that Jacob was the devil and that killing him will get his wife back. Jacob explains that his wife is still dead, this is not Hell, and Richard isn’t dead; a fact he proves by attempting to drown him.

Jacob then explains to Richard and everyone watching that the island is like a cork in a cheap looking wine bottle. Consider the wine evil and the cork the island, keeping the evil bottled up. If the evil gets outside the bottle, it really will be Hell on earth. He then explains that MIB believes that any man (or woman, although this was 1867 and equal rights wasn’t as big back then) can be corrupted because it’s in their nature to do bad things. Jacob brings people to the island to prove him wrong, that the island gives everyone a second chance.

Richard asks, yeah, but everyone you’ve brought here has been killed by MIB so you’re a fool (only in more tactful language). Why didn’t you help them? Great question! Jacob explains that he can’t step in because he wants everyone to help themselves. What would be the point if he had to explain the difference between right and wrong? Other than saving people’s lives, you mean??

Yeah, but if you don’t step in MIB will, Richard says during the most successful job interview ever. Jacob considers this and asks Richard if he’ll be his mediator (or right hand man). Richard wants his wife back in exchange. Sorry, can’t do that. Well, then absolve me of my sins. Nope, can’t do that either. Well then I never want to die and go to Hell. Now THAT I can do, Jacob says while touching him on the shoulder.

Richard goes back to MIB, tells him that he’s working for Jacob now, will not be giving two weeks, hands him a white stone and accepts Isabella’s gold cross from MIB. ‘Found it on the ship,’ he tells Ricardo. He also explains that by signing with Jacob it means he’ll never see his wife again and, if he ever changes his mind, his offer still stands.

Richard proceeds to bury the cross at the base of the stone bench.

And…

…we’re back. Richard is back at the stone bench 140 years later digging up the remarkable clean cross and yelling that he’s changed his mind. ‘Does the offer still stand!?’

He hears a rustling and out pops Hurley who tells him that his dead wife is standing right next to him. He passes on her message that her death was not his fault and that he has suffered enough and that his English is awesome. Richard says that he would do anything for them to be together again and she tells him that they already are together. POOF, she’s gone.

Hurley says there is one more teeny, tiny little thing: They need to stop MIB from leaving the island or ‘we’ll all go to hell’. As he tells Richard this we see Fake Locke watching from a distance, none too pleased with the entire scenario.

Flashback to MIB sitting on a bench overlooking a beautiful tropical valley. Jacob arrives and tells MIB that as long as he’s alive MIB would not be leaving this island. MIB says ‘I’ll guess I’ll have to kill you’.

‘Someone else will take my place,’ Jacob explains.

‘I’ll just have to kill them, too,’ MIB answers.

Jacob hands MIB the rest of the wine. ‘Something to pass the time’. MIB tells Jacob that he’ll be seeing him, ‘sooner than you think’ and smashes the wine bottle to pieces.



What We Learned

- The island is a cork keeping wine….I mean…evil bottled up.

- Richard really loved his wife. Only in Hollywood.

- Jacob has a wine press in the foot of the statue. Oh, I get it. Foot. Stomping grapes. Funny, Jacob.

- Boars eat corpses.

- The Black Rock is what knocked down the statue.

- Jacob doesn’t control everything. I doubt he meant to have the Black Rock plow over his house.

- Jacob’s kind of a dick. He brings people to the island only to totally ignore them while they die a (probably) gruesome death at the hands of Smokey. No wonder Ben was pissed at him.

- Richard was basically Jacob’s right hand man because Jacob was too lazy to get out of his wine cellar. Jacob, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Although if I have to tell you that what will you really learn? Yeah, stings having that thrown in your face, doesn’t it?

- This white rock/black rock joke isn’t very funny. Maybe if Jacob and Smokey watched Seinfeld reruns they would have gotten along better. Laughter can bond, fellas.

- Jacob can handle himself in a fight.

- They made solid gold back in the day. Hundreds of years old, buried in the dirt for much of that time and not even a hint of tarnish or green on it.

- Priests and doctors on the Canary Islands were assholes.

- Health care really hasn’t changed much over the centuries. Pay and I’ll give you the medicine. Can I see your HMO card in the form of gold coins, please? Sorry, we don’t take crosses here.

- Ricardo wants to live!!! Careful what you wish for.

- Ilana was hurt in ‘training’. Whatever that means.

- Richard was supposed to know what to do when everyone got to the Temple. Which also means someone dropped the ball somewhere.

- It’s good to see Richard out of those chains.

- Ricardo was a field worker in 1867 and knew how to push a horse.

- Richard was actually offered to work for both Jacob and MIB and still has a standing offer with Fake Locke. This means Richard was the first official free agent in history.

- Nobody can enter Jacob’s statue unless they’re invited and he’s very selective in who he invites.

- Jacob can keep people from aging but can’t help in reuniting loved ones. This does not bode well for Sun and Jin. Especially if one of them is dead.

- If Fake Locke gets off the island it means very bad things for everyone. Including us, people. Including us.

- Richard taught himself English which was a life saver. Literally.

- Jacob’s touch seems to be what keeps Richard ageless and immortal.

Which brings me to…

New Questions

- So, we see Jacob touch Richard when he asks never to die. We also see him touch Kate, Jack, Hurley, Sayid, Sun, Jin, Real Locke and Sawyer. Does this now mean that none of those people can die? Or that they will remain ageless like Richard? Or are there different touches that do different things.

- Let’s assume that Jacob is a one touch kind of guy. That his touching someone means they are ageless and immortal. That would certainly explain Sayid’s resurrection now, wouldn’t it? And if it was Jacob’s touch and not some infection that brought Sayid back from the dead, wouldn’t that mean that Sayid isn’t necessarily evil? Wouldn’t that mean (as I suspect will happen) Sayid will flip on Fake Locke at some point?

- Let’s take it a step further. If everyone Jacob touched can come back from the dead (or is immortal in some way), then wouldn’t that mean a return of a certain Real Locke? Or did his dying off the island in some way negate that ‘Immortal Effect’? Also, buried under the sand is a tough thing to get out of. Just ask the two diamond thieves. Keep in mind that Jacob touched Locke before his first trip to the island and that he was shot by Ben and recovered quickly. Was it Jacob’s touch and not the island that helped heal Locke quickly?

- Why won’t Jacob interfere? Everyone he has brought to the island has been corrupted or killed by MIB. Wouldn’t a change in strategy help him out? Is that why he is now using Hurley to communicate to Jack? Is he desperate enough to start interfering now that he’s dead? Or are there certain rules that prevent him from doing so?

- Who makes up these ridiculous rules, anyway?

- If the island is keeping evil trapped, what happens when the cork gets blown up by a hydrogen bomb? Do MIB and Jacob sink to the bottom of the ocean in Real World time?

- What happened to Ilana and what is her relationship to Jacob?

- How does Smokey decide who to kill immediately and who to keep alive? He’s confronted Real Locke, Mr, Ekko, and now Richard and not killed them. But other people (Oceanic pilot, the commanders of Black Rock, the mercenaries from the freighter) he kills immediately. What’s his criteria?

- What has MIB done that means keeping him trapped on the island? Is he just a punk? Did he put gum in Jacob’s hair when he was sleeping?

- Who is MIB’s mother? Remember last week he tells Kate that his mother was crazy. Are Jacob and MIB somehow related? Brothers?

- Is Jacob the first gate keeper for MIB? Or has he taken over for someone else? Anyone else get the impression that he was new at the job when he met Richard? First, he accidentally knocked his own statue over then he totally own Richard when he came to kill him. He seemed angry, too. Very un-Jacob-like. Was that on the job training?

- You think Jacob and MIB ever got shitfaced together? That’s a scene we need to see. ‘Dude, you should have seen the look on that guy’s face when I tore him to pieces! It was priceless. Oh, and I’m going to kill you as soon as I figure out how.’

- What is MIB’s problem with that island? Plenty of people drop by to be slaughtered, the scenery is fantastic, the weather is nearly perfect. Couldn’t he take up surfing and needlepoint? You could be trapped in the Arctic Circle! What an ingrate.

- If Jacob is standing guard on the island, why does he continue to bring people to the island? Is it to simply prove that one person out of the hundreds that have been killed can be changed? He tells Richard that he brings people to the island to prove MIB wrong, but he has yet to do so. Even after untold centuries.

- Why does MIB keep saying ‘sooner than you think’ when talking about seeing someone? He said the same thing to Alpert as Fake Locke. Does he think it sounds menacing? And what is his definition of ‘sooner’? Less than 50 years? Less than 100 years?

- What’s with the no talking rule about killing either Jacob or MIB? Is that just a way to prevent the other from persuading the person to change their minds? Or is there an actual rule that if they speak they can’t be killed? And, if that is a rule, then how did Ben manage to kill Jacob? He spoke to Ben before he was stabbed and that didn’t help one bit.

- What is the original form of MIB? We know what he looked like back in 1867 and he looks like Locke now, but what did he look like originally?

- Also, Jacob tells Richard that he brings people to the island so they can get a second chance – that when they arrive their pasts don’t matter. However, it certainly seemed to me that Richard’s past wasn’t that terrible. He accidentally killed a douchebag doctor in order to save his wife and was an honest field worker before that. What, exactly, did Richard need to make up for on the island?

- Was using Richard the first attempt MIB made on Jacob’s life? Jacob seemed surprised that MIB tried to kill him when they met on the bench at the end of the episode.

- Is that Captain Mangus Hanso who commanded Black Rock related to the same guy that started the Hanso Foundation behind the Dharma Initiative? Did I just pull something obscure completely out of my ass? Why, yes. Yes I did.

On that note, let’s wrap this up. Until next week.


Today's distraction: Snow art courtesy of Calvin and Hobbes. I miss this comic.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bracket Grief

Seven Stages of Bracket Grief

SHOCK AND DENIAL

Definition: A person in grief thinks that he is dreaming and he cannot / refuses to accept the incineration of his bracket before the Sweet Sixteen has even started. The time for which this stage lasts cannot be determined. Simple tasks and decisions cannot be carried out by a person in shock.

Evidenced by: Kansas losing to Northern Iowa. Kansas! I didn’t even watch this game as we had family movie night (‘Aliens in the Attic’ and, no, don’t watch this) so I was dumbstruck watching The Lead scroll across the bottom of SportsCenter.

Usual reaction: ‘No! No fucking way! Northern Iowa!! Kansas lost to Northern FUCKING Iowa!!! This can’t be happening!! Wait, are they talking about the Women’s tournament?’


PAIN AND GUILT

Definition: Realization this loss is true, usually during the SportsCenter highlights. Many people succumb to drugs and alcohol while dealing with intense feelings of what could have been done differently to avoid such a loss.

Evidenced by: Villanova losing to St. Mary’s. If this tournament taught us anything it’s that the Big East could be the most over rated conference in the entire country. Villanova, Georgetown, Marquette (they’re Big East, right?), Notre Dame all went home early. This does not bode well for Syracuse being my pick to be national champs.

Usual Reaction: ‘Why did I go with Georgetown? What the fuck is wrong with me!! I knew their offense sucked and John Thompson was a terrible coach. I really should have known better that to put them in the Sweet Sixteen........I need a beer.’


ANGER

Definition: The person may get angry due to the injustice that has happened to him or he may get angry over a person responsible for the loss in his life.

Evidenced by: My venomous, ten minute rant about how Scottie Reynolds was single handedly destroying my chances of winning this year’s office pool. I had Villanova going to the finals to face Kansas in my second bracket (this was before Kansas had lost) and in both Final Fours.

Usual Reaction: ‘Look at him!! What the fuck is he doing??!! That’s it, Scottie, force up another shot that has no chance of going in. You have teammates, you know! Fuck! Sit his ass on the bench!! He's killing your team!'


BARGAINING

Definition: The person starts bargaining for the loss and tries to find out ways in which he can revert the situation and compensate for what he has lost.

Evidenced by: Frantically looking at underdog picks you made to make yourself feel better while browsing everyone else’s online brackets to figure out ways you could possibly pull this disaster off. (Note: you can’t)

Usual reaction: ‘OK, everyone ahead of me had Kansas winning it all except for that one admin that has Kansas State…shit, she’s looking like a genius now…so if Syracuse and Kentucky get to the finals I can at least get second place….wait, I have Xavier beating Kansas State…so if they win….’


DEPRESSION AND SORROW

Definition: Person accepts the loss but is unable to cope up with it. Depressed and demoralized, the person is in despair and behaves passively at this stage of life.

Evidenced by: Complete lack of interest in the rest of the games.

Usual Reaction: ‘You can watch HGTV now, honey, these games are meaningless to me. I need another drink and a nap. I hate my life….’


TESTING AND RECONSTRUCTION

Definition: Person starts to indulge in other activities so as to escape the disturbing sorrow

Evidenced by: My (now) five year old’s birthday party; patching my leaking roof; watching ‘Dead Snow’ (which was one of the goriest comedies I have ever seen. At least, I’m assuming it’s a comedy since I laughed several times).

Usual reaction: ‘I need to get away from the television. Taking a run to Home Depot to get roofing tar and will be on the roof for the rest of the day. If you hear a thump in the driveway it’s just me falling to my death.’


ACCEPTANCE

Definition: Acceptance, the final stage, projects a ray of hope and the person starts believing in himself. Reality and facts of life are accepted and the person moves forward with this life.

Evidenced by: Subtle interest in ongoing games. Watching with interest the Cornell – Wisconsin game, listening to the breakdown of how Kansas lost to Northern Fucking Iowa, rescanning the office brackets for any outside chance.

Usual reaction: ‘Hey, Michigan State and Maryland should be a good game. Let me grab a beer. At least I can enjoy this without worrying about the stupid bracket. Wait, I have Michigan State winning this game. Come on, Spartans. Let the comeback begin!!’


Today’s distraction: The Ten Common Misconceptions we learn in school (According to Paul). I can’t vouch for Paul’s credentials or qualifications, but he says motherfucker and ‘tard, so he’s ok in my book.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lost - Part 7

I’m flying solo for tonight’s Lost, so thought I would mix things up. That’s right, I’m writing this live while watching Part 7. I’ll offer thoughts as they happen, bring up random questions as they pop into my deranged, liquor damaged brain (don’t get me started on the liver), and perhaps accidentally stumble upon the solution as to what’s going on.

In other words, this is going to be a muddled mess. I’ll try to clean it up when I get done.

Let’s make sure I’m ready to go.

Laptop fully charged? Check!

Boys firmly in bed? Well, no so there will be interruptions.

Gin and tonic refilled? Check! Reference this if things start slurring by the end.

DVR primed and ready? What, you think I’m an amateur?

Snacks? Not really hungry, but thanks for asking. Besides it steals stomach room from the gin and tonics and I have priorities.

The one question I want answered tonight: How does Widmore and his crew stay alive in that plastic submarine?

Let’s get this party rolling! Read no further if you haven’t watched.

Is there a more excitement inducing introduction than that guy saying ‘A new Lost starts… right now!’? No, I don’t think there is.

Opening scene and already Sawyer’s thrown out a ‘son of a BITCH!’ Nice to have you back Sawyer. Turns out he and Jin were hanging out at Claire’s…uh…camp? What do you call a house that looks like an upside down pasta strainer? Team Locke arrives back and Sawyer is less than thrilled to see Kate amongst them.

New Question: Did Fake Locke not show Claire how to protect herself from the elements? What kind of friend is he? She’s in a friggin’ rain forest. The leaves on the trees are like pillows. Use them!

Cut to Real World where Sawyer just finishes pleasuring some hottie who I think we’ve seen before. Who is she again?

What We Learned: Sawyer is as good in bed as he is in ad-libbing nicknames. I’m feeling a strange sensation…is that…jealousy? Good thing he’s a fictional character.

She calls him Jimmy and unbelievable. After reminding him he’s nearly late, ‘Jimmy’ jumps out of bed and accidentally knocks open a suitcase full of cash. Just like his old con days.

New Question: If he isn’t going by Sawyer but by his given name (James) is he no longer a con man?

He tells the girl it’s for an investment, but she pulls a gun on him and tells him she’s married to a con man and can see his game. Sawyer tells her she’s stupid (which is kind of true) because the place is surrounded by cops, the case has a tracer and she just needed to hand it over to her husband. They can still make a deal.

She doesn’t believe him, tells him he’s a lousy con man so he says ‘LaFleur’ and cops bust down the door. Including his partner: PAD!! WHOA!!

What We Learned: Sawyer is a cop! Uh…What??!! Surprise is right!!

What We Learned: PAD is his partner!

Ad Time: Hey, this French chick (Italian?) didn’t want her pc to crash so she told that to Microsoft. Isn’t that like me telling Budweiser I don’t want to get drunk?

We’re back and there is CC (Crazy Claire) playing with her doll again. Turns out it was ‘all she had’. Fake Locke acts like every CEO in America and will make himself available for questions.

New Questions: Does he screen his questions psychically before hand? Will he turn into Smoky and massacre the asker if he doesn’t like his or her tone? You think Smoky gets sarcasm?

Flight Attendant asks what happened to the people in the Temple and FL tells her that the black smoke killed them. He neglects the part about him being the black smoke which could be useful information. Meanwhile, Claire holds Kate’s hand but Kate doesn’t seem to be buying the fake affection.

Sawyer and Kate hook up (not like that) and he makes sure that Jack and Hurley got out of the Temple. He asks about Miles but Kate isn’t sure. She asks ‘So you’re with Locke now?’ to which he answers, in typical Sawyer manner ‘I ain’t with anybody, Kate’.

Back to Real World: Detective James Ford is calling a list of Anthony Coopers. PAD informs him that he has set Sawyer up on a date with a friend of his father (Dr. Dharma!!).

What We Learned: Dr Dharma is off the island and has relationship with PAD

New Questions: Is he still missing an arm? Is he running an escort service?

New Question: Is Sawyer hunting down Anthony Cooper because he conned his parents out of money, thus still provoking his father’s suicide?

PAD tells Sawyer that he can be honest with him about anything. Sawyer responds with ‘Why the hell would I lie?’

New Question: Does PAD not have psychic abilities in the Real World?

Back to the jungle. Sawyer confronts FL about when they are getting off the island. Sawyer wants off now, but FL says it will be a couple of days. They go to talk in private and Locke confesses to Sawyer that he is ‘the smoke thing’. FL explains that he gave the Temple people the opportunity to leave peacefully but they thought they were protecting the island from him, but all he wants to do is leave.

What We Learned: Fake Locke doesn’t like getting interrupted. Also, it’s kill or be killed now. Not a hell of a lot of room for negotiation, I guess.

Fake Locke tells Sawyer he needs to go to Hydra Island, find out everything about the Ajira passengers and report back.

What We Learned: Fake Locke can’t see where everyone is on the island or he would know that Ilana and the rest are at the beach on the main island. Although I think he knows that anyway.

What We Learned: Sawyer is the best liar FL has ever seen which I guarantee will bite him in the ass before the end of this show.

FL explains why Sawyer will go to Hydra: ‘We get on that plane, we fly off this island and we never look back’.

New Questions: Does FL realize that Sawyer will see the crumpled wreck of Ajira when he gets there? What then? Doubt that plane is in any way classified as FAA flight worthy.

Sawyer in Real World going on his blind date with a red head. While I’m not gay or anything, I have to admit Sawyer looks good.

What We Learned: Charlotte of the melting brain is his blind date.

What We Learned: Charlotte is an archeologist and is exactly like Indiana Jones. Or so she says.

Again Sawyer is presented with ‘tell me the truth’ and he explains that he reached a point in his life that he simply chose cop over criminal.

New Question: Does cop pay better or worse than criminal? Because Sawyer is wearing some nice threads. Again, no homo.

Oh, and he’s nailing Charlotte.

What We Learned: Charlotte has some pale skin. And Sawyer is reading ‘Watership Down’. I’m sure that means something with this show.

New Question: Is there anyone on this show Sawyer hasn’t nailed? Kate, Juliet, Charlotte. If I were Jin, I’d be concerned.

What We Learned: Sawyer does exist! And Jimmy is just as messed up about his parents as Sawyer is.

Back to the island and we see Sawyer arriving on Hydra. He longingly remembers the cage in which he nailed Kate and the dress she left behind.

New Question: Did Kate leave that cage naked? I’m 95% sure I would have remembered that.

Kate confronts Sayid about Fake Locke, asking if he believes him. He does. She asks if he’s ok, he says no. Just then CC attacks while Sayid simply watches. Fake Locke comes in and easily throws Claire off Kate. He explains that Kate couldn’t find her and the she did what she had to do. He even slaps Claire (which was a long time coming!)

What We Learned: Fake Locke hits women.

What We Learned: Kate is NOT ALRIGHT!

Back to Hydra and Sawyer has found Ajira in one piece.

New Question: Did I miss something? Did that plane land in one piece? I thought a wing was lost at least. Right?

Sawyer notices real dead Locke’s coffin trail. Follow it, Sawyer!! Oh, he’s following!! Whoops, big pile of dead bodies with flies. He turns when he hears someone and he starts chasing after them. He tackles a woman and she confesses that she’s the only one from the flight left. I’m sure Sawyer will be sleeping with her in no time.

What We Learned: She’s the only one left but seems immune to Sawyer’s charms so I’m assuming she’s a lesbian.

Back to Real World: Charlie’s bro!!! The other half of Drive Shaft is trying to get Charlie out of jail. He stops Sawyer, but it’s ‘not his department’. He’s then confronted by PAD about why he was in Australia when he said he was in Palm Springs. PAD breaks up with Sawyer when he won’t tell him why he was there. And what does Sawyer do? That’s right. Punches a mirror!

Yet another mirror moment for this season in Lost.

Back to Hydra and Tina Fey is telling Sawyer that she went to get wood when she heard screaming and that everyone was dead.

New Question: Did Smokey kill the survivors of Ajira?

What We Learned: God’s got nothing to do with it.

Kate and Fake Locke have a pow wow where FL explains that he needed to give Claire something to hate to keep her going. Man, I can smell the bullshit through my set. She asks where Sawyer went, Locke offers to show her, but she doesn’t accept his hand as an offer.

New Question: By not touching Fake Locke did Kate just save herself from infection?

Back to Hydra where Sawyer and Tina Fey are heading back to the main island. She is obviously Smoky bait and on very limited time. Oh, damn!! I was wrong. She is called on her bluff by Sawyer who is quickly taken captive by men hiding in the bush (no sexual euphemism there, they were actually hiding behind a bush).

New Question: Are these Ilana’s people? And why did they leave the bodies out like that? I mean, damn!

Ad Time: Hey, look, it’s an iPhone commercial. That’s just what it needs is some exposure so people can hear about it! Is being able to turn your lights off at home really why you don’t go anywhere without your iPhone? It’s not because you’re addicted to Twitter or Facebook or Texting, right?

We’re back.

Fake Locke and Kate sit on a beach looking over at Hydra and have a heart to heart. He explains that he understands how Kate is feeling because he had a crazy mother, too. He tells her this because now Aaron has a crazy mother, too.

What We Learned: Fake Locke has zero tact and many growing pains that he’s still trying to work his way through. Considering he's 1000 years old, he may want to give up on self improvement.

New Question: Does Kate realize that Fake Locke is the main reason Aaron has a crazy mother, too? Man that’s a catch 22 for you.

Back to Hydra: Sawyer sees Team Ilana erecting a transmitter and is brought to Widmore’s sub. Score! Way off the island sans Fake Locke.

Oh, man. Back to Real World where Sawyer takes like lessons from Michael Landon. He shows up at Charlotte’s with a sunflower and ‘puppy dog eyes’ but is rebuffed by the crazy redhead.

What We Learned: Sawyer likes ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and Charlotte is one tough broad. Also, Sawyer is a smart man for leaving the flower at Charlotte’s door but keeping the beer.

Back to the sub where Sawyer meets with Widmore. He tells Sawyer how sad it is how little he really knows. Sawyer makes a deal with Widmore that he will lead Fake Locke back to Hydra so Widmore can kill him on the condition that nobody else gets hurt and he gets them off the island.

New Question: What’s in the locked room?

What We Learned: Sawyer really isn’t with anyone and now is in league with Widmore. Well, for now, anyway.

New Question: Is Sawyer playing more than one game we’re aware of? He has a lot of balls in the air right now (not counting his own).

Back to the island where Claire apologizes to Kate in a sincere and tearful way. Yes, I’m confused. It’s like Claire is herself again. She even thanks Kate for watching after Aaron.

New Question: Is this Fake Locke disguised as Claire?

Sawyer returns to Fake Locke, tells them everyone is dead from Ajira and that Widmore is over there waiting for them. Fake Locke is not happy about that. Sawyer also tells him that they’re setting up a new sonic fence to keep out that ‘smoke thing’. Sawyer is surprisingly candid with Fake Locke about setting a trap for him.

New Question: Is Sawyer really loyal to Fake Locke? I think there is some elaborate con game he’s playing.

Real world again. He picks up PAD and shows him the Sawyer file. ‘Who’s Sawyer?’ PAD asks. Sawyer explains that his past is still the same. His father was conned, shot his mother then shot himself and he’s been hunting down that con man ever since he joined the force. He got the name Anthony Cooper from Sidney and that when he finds this man he will kill him.

New Questions: Does this mean Sawyer did NOT kill the wrong man in Australia? Like in Island World? What changed with Sawyer that led him to law enforcement instead of conning people out of their money?

Just as they’re bonding, a car crashes into them (I know it’s got to be Kate. She runs like a girl). They take off after the suspect. Sure enough it’s Kate which gets another ‘Son of a bitch’ out of Sawyer.

On the island Kate and Sawyer share a camp fire. She asks why he’s running errands for Locke. He says he’s not running errands for anyone and wants Locke and Widmore to fight it out while they make their escape. Kate asks who will fly the plane.

‘We ain’t taking the plane, freckles. We’re taking the sub!’

New Question: How the hell does Sawyer know how to captain a sub?

New Question: Does Widmore really want to kill Fake Locke?

So there you go, friends. I have to be honest: this was exhausting. I can’t do this again. My fingers are sore and I was interrupted about 15 times by my youngest coming down because he couldn’t sleep. Screw this.

Back to the routine next week.


Today's distraction: How fairy tales really end. This better not be where Lost is heading in it's final season.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Get Your Floaties

This past weekend’s weather is reason #121 why owning your own house is wildly over rated.

Since Friday afternoon Boston has been experiencing a friggin’ monsoon. It has been pouring for three days straight. Not simply raining, mind you; pouring. There has been no let up, no ray of light, no break in the clouds. It has been torrential for nearly 72 hours straight.

It got so bad I spend Saturday night worrying whether my house was going to remain standing. See, the rain was accompanied by hurricane force winds that battered and shook my house so much that the water in the upstairs toilet was moving. Plus it woke everyone else up so often we were all walking around like zombies. That lost hour certainly didn’t help.

Can I get that back now?

With our house set up high, we don’t really worry about getting water in the house very often. This is one of those times. I checked yesterday afternoon and we had water. And it’s been pouring every minute since then. I haven’t checked again because there isn’t much to do about it until the rain stops.

It’s still going.

Our basement has a built in drain for moments just like this. When I checked the water was flowing nicely into the drain. We had a river flowing through, which I’m ok with. What I don’t want – and what I fully expect to find when I get home – is standing water with nowhere to go but up into my house. That doesn’t work for me. At. All.

Still, our basement is a traditional cement floored, ‘throw shit down there and forget it exists’ basement. I really don’t care that much about water unless it gets near our furnace and hot water heater. So far they’re both safe.

What really pisses me off is seeing water stains on the ceiling. Just like I saw in the boy’s bedroom this morning. Good fucking times!

This means another trip to the tip top of my house to see what the fuck is going on. Most likely that wind ripped off part of the shingles and has exposed the roof underneath. So now water is dripping into the house (or in this case being driven in by a merciless force of nature) and threatening to ruin both the ceiling and my peace of mind.

It’s times like this I wonder what life would be like living in a condo.

No shoveling as I would get underground parking or, at the very least, move my car so the plow can clear out my spot.

No mowing the lawn.

No weeding.

No dog (would buy a pet intolerant condo).

No worrying about leaky roofs or flooded basements.

Or how about simply renting? All of the above and more! My sink gets clogged, call the landlord. Roof leaks? Call the landlord. Need some weed? Call the landlord.

Hey, it’s my dream.

Don’t buy into the home ownership trap, friends. It’s more trouble than it’s worth. Keep your life simple and either buy a condo or just rent an apartment. Home ownership drains energy, money and your will to live.

Fight the power!


Today’s distraction: Photos from this insane storm. The Greater Boston area has nearly eight inches of rain from this mofo. By the way, that first photo isn’t an over flowing river, it’s a golf course.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Musical Distractions

If you’re not careful you may miss some of the great music currently coming out in droves. Not sure what got into the air in 2010, but I’ve already got a slew of albums that are in the Repeat mode of my iPod. Do yourself a favor and click on the links (which are also today’s distraction) if you’re looking for some new tunes to fill your boring workday.

I should point out that I’ve made a conscious decision to move outside my comfort zone with music. No, not everything works for me (sorry Vampire Weekend) and there is some usual hard rock in here, but a lot of it is a departure for me.

Off we go…

Galactic – Ya Ka May: Since I’m being up front here, I’ve found most hip hop boring as hell. Most of it consists of misogyny, bragging, insults or a combination of all three. Seldom has any rap artist tried to create something new and move the genre in a new direction. There have been moments along the way where I had some hope, but it seems to always revert back to the same old shit.

Enter Galactic, a funk rock band from New Orleans, breathing new life into rap, R&B and soul. This is one of the most energetic and invigorating albums in a long time. The band itself doesn’t have a lead singer, so they just invite guest rappers and singers into the fold and create what could be the beginning of a new, more creative, more energetic and though provoking era of hip hop.

Fingers crossed.

Here’s a live performance with Boot Riley to give you a taste. I dare you not to like this. I also decided that I want them to write my theme song for when I walk down the street.


Fang Island – Self Titled: Sounding like an experimental, hard rock version of The New Pornographers, this addictive new band has three lead guitarists who swap back solos quicker than I shirk my responsibilities (which is fast!). More music than lyrics, but I’m ok with that when the music is this good.

Check out a live performance of ‘Daisy’ which has terrible camera work, awful sound, but still gives you an idea what they’re about. I think MTV is using this song to promote one of its countless reality shows. Shouldn’t they just change their name to RTV? Check out ‘Welcome Wagon’ on LaLa, as well. That will wake you up.


Citay – Dream Get Together: Considering Fleetwood Mac was one of the most successful bands in history, I’ve always wondered why more musicians didn’t ‘borrow’ from them more often. Citay seems to be leaning in that direction and there are moments when it feels like Lindsey Buckingham is playing along, but they can’t help ripping it up. This is a very good thing. Who wants to be a copy cat? If you want a soundtrack for southern California, this is probably it. Puts me in a good mood every time I listen.

A perfect example of their laid back, upbeat vibe. Love this song.


These New Puritans – Hidden: I’m telling you up front that you will either love this or hate it. I doubt many people will be in between on this one. I happen to love it even if it is a bunch of sounds and beats and strange instruments randomly joining in. Somehow this British band gets it to congeal and make it work. If I knew any better, I’d say this is damn near genius. You’ll have to make up your own minds

The video for ‘We Want War’.


Spoon – Transference: I made the mistake of overlooking Spoon a few years ago and will never do so again. They are probably the most unheralded band around right now. Consistently great music for ten years and counting. They’ve stripped down their sound a bit on this release, but the songs are so good it barely makes a difference.

Here is ‘Written in Reverse’ which is typical Spoon; meaning fantastic.


Ray Wylie Hubbard – A: Enlightenment, etc: This is one long ass title, but as long as you see that A, B, C option you have the right one. While most sites have this listed as a country album, it sounds more like blues to me. Hubbard is a throw back to the growly, haggard, whiskey abusing singers like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. And still I’m thoroughly enjoying this album. There are times I can’t explain why certain music appeals to me, but this is dark and despairing and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

Ray Wylie’s ‘Drunken Poet’s Dream’ just to prove to you he looks just like he sounds. I want to hang out with him for a weekend.


Motion City Soundtrack – My Dinosaur Life: It took me a few listens of this before I realized they were more than another pop punk wannabe band. Their tunes are catchy as hell, but underneath it all are some hilariously biting lyrics that stay with you. Picture a harder, more intelligent ‘All American Rejects’ and you’re getting close.

Enjoy their insane video for ‘Her Words Destroyed My Planet’ which proves once and for all that white boys have surpassed black men in stupid hair styles. Never thought I’d see the day.


Lightspeed Champion – Life is Sweet, Nice To Meet You!: The Dev part of Test Icicles has sprung loose and started his own band. This is album number two and I will be going back soon to pick up number one. I’m not even going to attempt to explain this one as the genres are all over the place, but every song is fantastic in their own unique way. Check out below to get a taste.

Here is Dev playing some acoustic Lightspeed tunes.

If you want a more complete sound here is his surreal video for ‘Marlene’ which is off the latest.

That’s it for this week, friends. Enjoy the music.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lost - Part 6

Guilt can be a terrible motivator. Just ask our newly evil friend, Sayid, who carried around so much he decided it was just easier to believe he was a bad man rather than dwell on his past atrocities. Simplifies things.

Ben Linus is another wrestling with his guilt. Over the death of his daughter (who wasn’t even his), over the death of Jacob, over the death of real Locke, maybe the deaths of countless others (Although seemingly not of his father or the entire Dharma camp. Those guys totally deserved it).

Yet it was another complex human act that may have saved Ben from joining Team Locke. Forgiveness can be simultaneously the most complicated and simple emotion we may ever experience. Most of us have forgiven friends and family for minor transgressions, but how many of us could forgive someone who murdered a loved one? How many of us could forgive a friend for spreading a vicious rumor? Hell, I have a hard time forgiving myself when I knock a beer over. Although, in my defense, beer is wonderful.

Ilana’s shocking (to me and Ben at least) offer to Ben may just have pulled him back from the brink. I think there is more to her about face than we realize, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

One quick note – this season of Lost resembles an avalanche; starts off with a few crumbles of snow before gaining momentum and becoming an unstoppable force of nature plowing everything out the way until it decides it’s finished. I can’t think of a single episode that revealed as much in one hour as last night’s did.

Let’s get to it.

What Happened

Real World: How great was the opening segment of Ben talking about Elba. Lecturing how everything became clear on the island and that loss of power was one of Napoleon’s biggest concerns. I’d bet Dr. Linus is about the same height, too!

Teacher Ben gets involved in another power struggle with Principal Die Hard who cancels Ben’s after school French Club. While complaining about it (to Arnst!!), none other than John Locke suggests to Ben he should become Principal. ‘Who would listen to me?’ Locke answers by raising his hand which invites a sarcastic ‘Great, the substitute is behind you,’ from Arnst.

Back at home, Ben is taking care of his oxygen sucking father who complains that they should have stayed on the island with the Dharma Initiative (I KNOW!!!). They’re interrupted by the doorbell and the suddenly looking-kind-of-hot Alex Rousseau is there asking what happened to French Club. Seems Dr. Ben has been tutoring Alex on the side in order to help her get into Yale. And, yes, I was as creeped out as all of you were by this development.

Sidenote: Why are people so obsessed with getting into a specific college? Why would her life be over if she had to go to Harvard or UCLA instead of Yale? How about Princeton? Hell, how about Georgetown or Syracuse? Is the Ivy League really where she wants to watch sports? Yale’s volleyball teams sucks!

While tutoring Alex she accidentally slips that Principal Ghost Busters and the school nurse are having an affair. This would include inappropriate trysts in the school with a sleeping student nearby. Yeah, that would be Alex.

Weasel Ben makes a triumphant return as he recruits Arnst to help him dethrone the Principle. He gets emails from the nurse’s account and confronts Principle Real Genius (are you getting that these are all the movies I remember him from?). Only Principle Bio Dome (you’ve seen it, too, don’t deny it) shows him the email from Alex asking for a recommendation.

What’s it going to be Dr. Linus? Good recommendation for Alex or the Principle’s job? Ironic, no? He has to choose between power and saving Alex again (although both sides of the dilemma are not nearly as important in the Real World). Cut to Ben moving Principle Die Hard 2’s (what?) name plate over (and me thinking ‘no way!’) only to be interrupted by Alex and Principle Insert 80s Movie Here. Turns out Alex wanted to thank the Principle for writing such a glowing recommendation.

Way to go, Ben! You have a heart, after all!

Quick break while I enjoy a cheesecake brownie. Unbelievably delicious! OK, onward…

Island World: Let’s start with Jack and Hurley (who’s hungry and could use a delicious cheesecake brownie of his own) who apparently slept in the jungle all night. Are they new here? What would possibly make them think that sleeping out in the open on this island was a good idea? Whatever, they lived. Off they go to make their way back to the Temple only to meet Richard Alpert who leads them to the Black Rock instead.

‘Everyone’s dead at the Temple, anyway,’ he matter of factly lets them know. Jack freaks out in his controlled way before Richard tells him that Sayid and Kate weren’t among the bodies so they may have made it out. Jack realizes Hurley knew about this and he admits that Jacob may have mentioned it in passing. Richard tells Hurley not to believe anything Jacob says despite the fact that he’s been dead on about everything so far (you stupid ass, Alpert). Now if you’ll excuse him, he’s going to kill himself.

In the ship, Alpert tells Jack and Hurley that this is how he got to the island, that Jacob touched him with a gift (which is also a curse as most gifts tend to be) which is why he doesn’t age and that he really can’t kill himself. He needs Jack or Hurley to light the fuse of the dynamite he setup. Jack says ‘Fine, mofo. I’ll light it, but we’re going to talk while we wait to get vaporized’. Hurley, being the only sane one left on the island, excuses himself quickly.

Jack, who may not be so crazy after all, explains to Richard that he’s just been to Jacob’s Lighthouse and saw his fancy childhood home in a magic mirror. Understandably this doesn’t sound that strange to a man who has looked exactly the same for 30 straight years. No Grecian formula or anything!

Jack doesn’t think he will blow up because there must be something in store for him besides being blown to bits like Arnst (Island World version) in the hull of a decrepit ship. He’s right as the fuse extinguishes itself before it goes boom. Well, played Jack.

Since Jack seems to have all the answers (careful with that leap in logic), Richard agrees to follow Jack. ‘What’s next,’ he asks. Jack says ‘Let’s go back to where this started’, which means Oceanic 815, Sydney, 1977 or the beach. Or maybe he means that patch of jungle where he first wakes up after the crash? It could really be anywhere at this point.

MEANWHILE….

Ben catches up to Captain Frank, Sun, PAD and Ilana after the carnage at the Temple. Ilana decides to find out who really killed Jacob and gives his ashes to PAD. PAD does his talking to the dead schtick then tells everyone that Ben killed Jacob, which just proves he’s a logical thinker and not truly a psychic.

Ilana understandably freaks out and chains Ben to a tree and tells him to dig his own grave. PAD offers Ben some fruit and informs him that Jacob really did care whether he died or not. ‘Right up until the moment that blade entered his heart he was hoping he was wrong about you,’ PAD tells Ben. File that under ‘rubbing salt in the wound’.

Later on while Ben takes his sweet time digging his own grave (put some back into it, man!), Fake Locke flies up and offers Ben an escape. He flicks his ankle chain off, tells him there is a rifle in a clearing and that everyone leaving the island will be at the Hydra station. Fake Locke wants Ben to take over care of the island once he leaves, so get a move on.

Ilana sees Ben slacking, tells him to get to work only to be totally pissed when he jumps out of the hole and runs for it. They race through the jungle with Ilana running more manly than Ben, until Ben finally sees the rifle, picks it up and points it at Ilana. She drops her gun, waits for him to shoot only to have to suffer through him crying like a boy who lost his favorite toy.

See, Ben was in a rage when he confronted Jacob. He watched his daughter get murdered in front of him because he chose the island (and its power) over her life. He sacrificed and obeyed without question whatever orders Jacob delivered. The worst part was that Jacob didn’t even care what Ben sacrificed in his name. So he killed him. He doesn’t expect her to forgive him because he can’t forgive himself. All he wants now is for her to let him go to Locke.

‘Why Locke?’ Ilana asks.

‘Because he’s the only one that will have me,’ Ben sobs.

‘I’ll have you,’ Ilana replies. Shocked, Ben stares after her while she walks back to the beach, finally scurrying after her like a needy child. He gets back to the beach just in time to witness Jack, Hurley, and Richard return.

Oh, we’re not quite done.

Out in the ocean a cheap plastic periscope pops up, looks around and spots the awkward reunion. An officer at the controls reports that he has spotted people on the beach and asks if they should stop.

‘No,’ replies Richard Widmore, sitting nearby, ‘continue as planned’.

What We Learned

- Jacob touching you is a gift which is what most sexual predators will tell you. Consider yourself warned.

- Jack has apparently accepted his importance. Or can blow out a fuse without anyone noticing.

- Captain Frank was supposed to be the captain of Oceanic 815 but over slept.

- Richard hasn’t aged because he was felt up by Jacob.

- There are only six candidates left (according to Ilana).

- Hurley is a terrible staller.

- Real World Ben also spent time on the island during his childhood.

- The Dharma Initiative was active in the Real World and they know about the island.

- That’s one cramped submarine, Widmore!

- Fake Locke lied to Sawyer about the island. If you recall he told Sawyer that the island didn’t need anyone to ‘protect it’, but last night he told Ben that he’ll need him to take care of it after he leaves.

- Arnst isn’t as dumb as he looks and hates his parking space.

- People touched by Jacob can’t kill themselves. Although they sure can be murdered by someone else, right Locke?

- Ben needs a new optometrist.

- PAD can talk to ashes which must make him a blast to have around a camp fire.

- Ben’s Real World father is very sick. Emphysema maybe? He also has a better relationship with Ben then he did on Island World.

- Even Ilana isn’t sure whether it’s Sun or Jin who is the candidate so she’ll try to protect both of them.

- Real World Alex manages nap time in the nurse’s office. Must be nice.

- PAD found the diamonds from the two nimrods who were buried alive.

- Richard came to the island on the Black Rock and was either a slave or prisoner on it.

- Richard can be a big baby when his entire existence is called into question. Man up, mascara boy!!

- Hurley was cleaning Arnst off his shirt for days after he blew himself up.

- Widmore is one tenacious sonofabitch.

- Power isn’t as important to Real World Ben as it was to Island World Ben. Although, let’s be honest: control over magical, healing, tropical island or Principle of a cash strapped school? Which would be cooler to you?

New Questions

- Let’s start with the Dharma Initiative. If they knew and populated the island like before, what made them leave? Did the bomb sink the island and force everyone off? Wouldn’t it have killed Little Ben and his drunk ass father since they were still on it when it detonated? Or was there some other effect from the blast that gave people time to evacuate?

- What made Ben’s father leave the island? He tells RW Ben that they should have never left the island which implies he doesn’t know it’s now under water. What caused him to take Ben and return to the mainland?

- Was Michael touched by Jacob at some point? Remember when he was being recruited to join the freighter team he attempted suicide twice and failed both times. When asked about it by Ben’s right hand man, he asked Michael ‘Did the gun jam or did the bullet just bounce off your skull?’

- If the Dharma Initiative was active back in the 70s is it still active in the Real World? Is PAD’s father still working with it? What is their theory as to why the island is gone? Were they behind the sinking of it and it really has nothing to do with the bomb?

- What happened to Jacob and Smokey when the island sank? Are they just holding their breath until the island pops back to the surface? Will the island re-emerge and call all the regulars back to it in a few years?

- Jacob was like a father to Ilana. An ageless, all knowing, magical father who likes touching people. I’m betting she has relationship problems.

- Did Captain Frank miss Oceanic 815 because of his drinking problem? He did have a drinking problem, right? Or am I remembering that wrong? I thought he took the Widmore helicopter gig because he couldn’t get any other work.

- Is Rousseau alive and living in LA with Alex? Is she still nuts? Not sure I could handle a sane and cleaned up Rousseau. Be way too weird.

- While we’re here, who is Alex’s father and is he still in the picture? I’ll assume yes since they never crash landed on the island.

- Is everyone else noticing how good everyone’s lives are because Jacob hasn’t been mucking around in their lives? What the hell, Jacob?

- Is coming to the island like visiting ‘The Jerry Springer Show’? Seems to me everyone that never landed on the island has much healthier relationships than their Island World versions did. Ben and his father, Locke and his father, Sayid and Nadia, I’ll bet Sawyer and one of his parents get along great, as well. Meanwhile, if they get on the island their relationships fray and clash and eventually wind up in a huge brawl with body guards running in to break things up before chairs are thrown. Is there some emotional current running on the island that amps up the tiniest cracks in any personality?

- Can Fake Locke not leave the island unless there is someone to take over his role?

- And why does he need so many people by his side in order to leave? Are they going to be sacrifices? Or does he need a buffer?

- Could it be that Fake Locke merely implying something else with his ‘leaving the island’ talk? Does he die if he gets off the island? Is he referring to one of his group killing him? Is he like Richard in that he can’t kill himself and needs someone to do it for him? Is dying his escape or path to home? Will he still have Smokey powers if he gets into the Real World? Just think how much money that would save on transportation costs. No traffic jams for this dust storm!

- Who are the six remaining candidates? I figure Sun or Jin, Jack, Hurley, Kate, Sawyer and Sayid, but should Sayid still be considered? If Ilana is counting him does that mean he can still make a comeback from Team Locke? Ben’s name was on the Lighthouse wheel, so should he be considered one?

- Speaking of Ilana, what was it about Ben’s apology that sparked her compassion? Could it be his expression of anger over how much he sacrificed for Jacob? Has Ilana sacrificed something equally important in the name of Jacob? I hope we get to see her back story.

- Was there more to Ilana’s offer than meets the eye? Did she somehow realize the Fake Locke had a chat with Ben and figured she could use all the man power she could get?

- Why is Fake Locke taking everyone to the Hydra Station on the other island? Is there a way off there?

- Where did Widmore get the sub? Was it put together with duct tape and toilet paper rolls? How could a billionaire like him not afford something more realistic? How did he find the island? Who else is in there with him besides the soon to be Smokey victim periscope dude? What’s this ‘plan’ of his and is it better than his ‘send deadly mercenaries on a freighter’ plan that worked so well?

- Does Jack truly believe he has been chosen for something special? Or was he hoping to be put out of his misery?

- Anyone else noticing how far people are getting in understanding each other when they are completely honest? If they did this from the start, we could have wrapped this up in three seasons.

- Where the hell is Desmond? I keep hoping his sailboat will show up again with him drunk in the cabin.

- Will Sawyer and Kate have a reunion in the bear cages when they get back to the other island?

Until next week, fellow addicts.


Today's distraction: 10 famous improvised lines. That Joe Pesci's 'Funny how?' moment was ad libbed blows my mind.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Movie Reviews

Spring has sprung here in Boston! It hit 65 degrees on Saturday nearly 70 on Sunday and I’ve had to pull out the sunglasses from hibernation.

I am in a good mood which has been enhanced by a beautiful coworker making me cheesecake brownies over the weekend. Nothing unseemly going on, we’re just friends (and both married) and she is one of those super nice people I could never become. It’s my mean spirited, deep rooted cynicism she doesn’t understand.

If she’s trying to change me through sweets, it just might be working.

Since I haven’t been down this road for a while, here are some thoughts on movies I’ve watched recently.

Knowing: I’m not sure what in holy hell happened with this movie but it almost seems like they had a great idea for a movie, executed the first half with intelligence and thrills only to realize they didn’t know where they were going with it. So they went completely off the rails, introduced aliens, and everything went to shit. Oh and Nick Cage runs around in a bad hair piece again. Not only did this suck, but it was pointless and makes me angry I wasted two hours of my life.

The Proposal: Fun fact: this movie was filmed in Rockport, MA where the family and I go to spend the day every now and then. It’s a quaint, walkabout, former fishing village that is about as far from Alaska (where this movie supposedly takes place) as you could get. Nothing special about this movie; it’s predictable and plain but the cast makes it semi-enjoyable. Ryan Reynolds is one of those guys that can make me laugh with a look, but he seems neutered for the most part. I won’t recommend it, but you don’t hate yourself by the time it’s over. I guess that’s something.

Night at the Museum 2: Fuck, just kill me. I should point out the boys liked this movie, but wifey and I spent most of it refilling our drinks. Amy Adams is the best part as Ben Stiller and the rest sleep walk their way to a quick paycheck.

Law Abiding Citizen: Another movie that starts off with promise only to get more absurd as the plot unfolds. Would have been better if they kept it as a gory revenge thriller instead of turning it into a ludicrous cat and mouse game. You know why Jamie Foxx can’t figure out how this guy is pulling off all the murders? Because what he does in this movie is impossible. That’s why.

The Hurt Locker: Congrats on the Best Picture, Hurt Locker. While I agree this is a very good movie, I’m a bit confused why this is getting hailed as such a masterpiece. Agreed, it’s gritty, realistic, one of the most suspenseful movies I have ever seen, but I couldn’t shake that I’ve seen most of this before. The HBO miniseries ‘Generation Kill’ covered a lot of these themes two years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I highly recommend this movie, but the overly effusive praise has me a bit bewildered.

Surrogates: I was surprised how much I enjoyed this movie. There are some genuinely creepy scenes (all the Surrogates riding the subway the most memorable), shocking surprises and great action scenes. Things don’t tie together quite perfectly, but you could do a lot worse than this if you were in the mood for a semi intelligent thriller that raises some uncomfortable questions as to where our Facebook generation is headed.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs: Another movie my boys laughed out loud at. The only difference being my laughing with them. Fast, funny, and surreal.

A Perfect Getaway: If nothing else this proves once and for all Timothy Olyphant can actually act. While I’m fairly certain this movie cheated with the plot twist, I don’t really care that much. I was highly entertained the entire way and have no regrets. Hear that ‘Knowing’?

Frost/Nixon: When it comes to historical dramas like this it always comes down to the actors. In this case both Michael Sheen and Frank Langella nail the humanity and nuances without going over the top. Langella, in particular, does the impossible by making Nixon alternately charming, likable, and ferocious. How did he not win Best Actor for this?

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Brad Pitt somehow aging backwards. Much more involving than I was expecting, but there were still moments that dragged. Probably could have benefitted from being 30 minutes shorter.

Revolutionary Road: Fuck, what a downer of a movie this was. Every married couple cheats on their partner, Kate Winslet portrays the wife as an ungrateful shrew who somehow can’t stand being trapped in suburbia even though the neighborhood is gorgeous, sunny and welcoming. Maybe I just didn’t get this one, but it seems that if you’re that unhappy in an expensive home with a beautiful yard you’re really not going to be happy anywhere. That would include Paris. Was that the point? Whatever. Didn’t care that much about any of the characters to give it much consideration.

Right at Your Door: In the past these ‘direct to DVD’ movies have been scoffed at, but don’t let this low budget and barely heard of actors fool you. This movie is disturbing, suspenseful and claustrophobic. Even the ending was surprising and unforgettable. It clocks in at under 90 minutes and you can watch it online on Netflix, so if you’re looking for an underground gift, check this one out.

Goodbye Solo: Another low budget stunner that moves slowly (but never lifelessly) while it tells the story of a African cab driver who befriends an elderly, grouchy, perhaps dying man intent on keeping as much distance between himself and the rest of the world as possible. Seeming quiet and aimless, this movie packs a wallop. A lot of people won’t like the lack of answers, but I found it perfect. The last exchange between the two men still haunts me.

Coraline: For a supposed kids movie, this was one fucked up flick. Coraline is an unhappy child who finds a delightful parallel world that turns out to be menacing and truly disturbing. The boys really enjoyed this and have watched it twice over the weekend so maybe adults will find the choice of death or having buttons sewn over your eyes more troublesome than kids. Still, this was one of the more original and creative animated films I’ve seen in a while. Even if it is dark and disturbed.

In Bruges: A pitch black, extremely violent, comedy (I guess) about two hit men biding their time in Bruges (hence the title). While Colin Farrell is great, the rest of the cast is more than up for the challenge. Farrell should really do more comedy as he’s much funnier than I ever would have thought.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Until tomorrow…

Today’s distraction: Advertisements that will challenge your mind. Some of these are disturbing and/or not safe for work so be careful. I’m sure it says something that the more troublesome ads are by the animal rights folks, but I’m not sure what.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lost Thoughts

With apologies to 10 (just watch already, will ya?), since I rushed through the Lost recap and had another revelation that’s doomed to be wrong, I wanted to pass along a few thoughts regarding ‘Lost’. I’ll make it quick.

1: This ‘infection’ thing seems to be an important part of Lost this year. According to the late, not so great Dogen, both Sayid and Claire are infected. But how did they get infected?

Thought: What if they weren’t infected by Fake Locke or any sort of ‘darkness’ from the Temple Fountain but were infected by Jacob? While we never witness Jacob touching Claire (although she shared an island with him for three years, so it’s possible that hasn’t been revealed), we know he’s touched Sayid, Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Locke, Hurley, Jin and Sun. We can assume Sayid is infected after his outburst last week. Locke is dead, Sawyer has joined with Fake Locke (supposedly, but I have my doubts), Kate’s simply tagging along, Jack and Hurley are pouting at the light house, Jin is somewhere incapacitated, Sun hasn’t had more than 10 lines of dialogue since she returned to the island.

Let’s work this two ways. If Fake Locke is evil, then perhaps the infection is simply a way for him to get everyone in touch with their dark sides and join his rebellion. Or whatever it is he’s trying to do. We can then assume that Jacob touching the group was a way of marking them and tracking their progress or calling them to the island.

Problem with that the tracking theory is he didn’t touch Jack until he was already an adult and practicing medicine, therefore touching the person didn’t prevent Jacob from watching them from the Lighthouse. Jack’s childhood home was in the mirror and not the hospital.

That would mean that touching all the people was a way to draw them to the island or mark them in some other psychic way we aren’t yet aware of. Fine.

But what if Jacob isn’t the good guy? What if his touching everyone was a way to make them more susceptible to becoming ‘infected’? Or the incubation needed to invoke infection whenever he needed to. Sure, he’s dead now, but that hasn’t stopped him from wreaking havoc through Hurley so why would it stop his ability to spread infection through the ranks? Or maybe Dogen can activate the infection through the Fountain?

Just saying.

2: Doc Jensen in his Entertainment Weekly recap tossed in a thought about Sayid greeting his niece and nephew in the Real World as possibly being Sayid’s own children in the world Fake Locke promised him in the jungle. The ‘But what if you could?’ part.

This triggered my usual chain reaction of insane thoughts that concluded in yet another new theory that has already been dismissed by fellow Lost addicts (they were nice about it).

What if this Real World isn’t real at all, but something conjured up by Fake Locke to trick the island people into thinking they got what he promised them on the island.

For example, he promises Claire she will get Aaron back if she helps him. In the Real World she gives birth to Aaron and (so far) has kept him.

He promises Sayid he can have Nadia back. He is now living with Nadia and her two kids and I’ll bet his brother dies after the attack, leaving him alone with his true love.

We don’t know what he promises Kate (yet), but I’ll bet it has to do with helping Claire get back to Aaron.

We don’t know what (if anything) he promises Jack, but I’ll bet it has to do with resolving his own father/self esteem issues and what better way to do that than through his own fatherhood.

This would explain why everyone seems so displaced and confused in this Real World. Everyone – that is – except Sayid who was the first not to have that ‘mirror’ moment. Sayid, who wants more than anything to believe he can have Nadia back; alive and healthy and fully in love with him. My guess is the more you want to believe the fewer flaws this Real World will contain. This is why Jack is having more explicit moments than anyone else (so far). He’s the skeptic; the one having the greatest difficulty buying into the illusion.

It would also explain why Jack has a rather fresh looking appendectomy scar that looks like it was performed on a remote island with no medical equipment even though his mother says it was removed at a hospital when he was seven years old.
The problem is this Real World is all an illusion (think of it like ‘The Matrix’ only everyone is still on the island with Fake Locke casting his spell) which is why some of it is cracking and crumbling.

The blood on Jack’s collar on the airplane (want to bet he gets hurt in the neck area near the end of the season?).

Desmond appearing then disappearing.

Charlie claiming he was supposed to die.

Kate having that moment of déjà vu while seeing Jack at the airport.

Hurley and Locke acting like lost friends in the parking lot.

But there, you see is the weak link. Locke. He’s dead so how could he have been promised anything? I suppose one of them (Hurley?) wishes Locke back to life as part of his deal. Or maybe Locke being alive again is needed to complete the illusion?

So let’s take it from the other angle again.

Again, what if Fake Locke is good; not evil like Dogen (who works for Jacob, let’s not forget) claims. What if Fake Locke, with the help of Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Jin, Sun, Claire and Sayid gets free of the island? What easier way for him to reward all of them then to set the clock back and put them back on Oceanic 815 with better lives?

And, as far as we can tell, everyone coming off that non crashed Oceanic 815 does seem to have better lives. Even evil Sayid is adored by Nadia and her kids and even his brother.

Hurley is still a millionaire without the bad luck.

Locke is still paralyzed but has a loving support system and good relationship with his father.

Jack is given a bonding moment with his son but is still a respected and accomplished surgeon.

Sure, they still have their flaws, but that’s just being human and even with their faults they sure seem more at ease with themselves. I would be hard pressed to pick one person (ok, Jin) who is having that tough a time in the Real World.

Just food for thought. Figured I would get it down before it became muddled and diluted by all the alcohol I’ll be consuming over the weekend.

Enjoy your weekends.

Today's distraction: Art describes procrastination. And you can procrastinate while watching it. Fucking genius!