Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
A Starter Kit and Informational Guide to CS Lewis’ Masterpiece
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Divorce (Quick overview from our friend’s at Wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_MacDonald (Very important information on the man who inspired Lewis to become a Christian and to write this book….MacDonald is also a character in the book itself)C. S. Lewis wrote this book in 1945 in response to an author named Blake who wrote the Marriage of Heaven and Hell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marriage_of_Heaven_and_Hell
Lewis' book is a response to Blake’s erroneous philosophical belief that all roads lead to God. Blake (and many like him) believed that the “roads of life” are like radii of a circle. If we keep going down any path we will eventually end up in the middle. This argument eventually renders even the most egregious evil into good. Lewis is obviously arguing against this philosophy.
The intended audience for the book was (and is) anyone who has read Blake's book, but more importantly, anyone who has been influenced by the philosophical concepts endorsed in that book. This was as popular a train of thought in that day as it is now.
The dangers of a widely held erroneous view are potentially devastating to the Church and therefore to the world at-large. Lewis felt he needed to speak to that issue and bring some clarity. He lived in a time when this type of philosophy was growing in acceptance and popularity among the masses. The subjectivity of Blake’s views was a real danger to society at large. If any direction is as good as any other, then who can justifiably say anything is right or wrong in a society. The common good is maintained only by the common morality. Societies that become morally subjective are doomed to failure. Lewis puts it this way, "...some way of embracing both alternatives can always be found; that mere development of adjustment or refinement will somehow turn evil into good without our being called on for a final and total rejection of anything we should like to retain. This belief I take to be a disastrous error."
The contrasting themes within the book are powerful. For example, you see the people from hell as "phantoms" as opposed to those "bright solid people" from heaven. Lewis does a good job here with imagery. The way in which he describes things in Grey Town completely changes as soon as the bus nears and lands on the outskirts of Heaven. The colors are so strong they almost make the people disappear. They realize they are phantoms. The grass is sharp on their feet. The rain would go through them like bullets from a machine gun. They can't even pick flowers. The stems are far too strong for them.
Heaven is described as being immensely large, while hell is minutely small, smaller than a grain of sand. Lewis put it like this, "All Hell is smaller than one pebble of your earthly world: but it is smaller than one atom of this world, the Real World." We see first the physical contrast, but Lewis moves on to far more important ones: moral.
The phantoms have their reasons for coming to heaven which mostly involve getting their rights or stating their position. This is very well contrasted with the solid people attempting to explain the grace of God to them. The phantoms chose unwisely based on selfish motives (i.e. their own roads) yet still expected heaven to accept them anyway. They blame heaven for not accepting them. He shows the folly of Blake's philosophy in doing this. The silliness of such ideas is exposed in the actions and rationalizations and demands of the phantoms. Lewis powerfully contrasts the grace of God with the folly of man.
In each discussion between sets of characters we see examples of some of the most common things that keep men apart from God's love. His main character’s conversation with George Macdonald is great. They discuss the issues of the phantoms and the reality of heaven and hell. The question of choices comes up and Macdonald says this, "
The idea that God honors the choices of individuals is central to the theme of this book. There is the quote that reads, "There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.' All that are in Hell chose it."
Lewis' strengths in this book are his use of illustrative fiction to put his point across. He catches the imagination and addresses many different kinds of struggles that we all deal with on a daily basis. The mirror is held up to our own lives through these characters, and the same empty arguments can be heard in our own thoughts from time to time.
http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/books/greatdivorce.html (A comprehensive review of the book from an Atheist’s perspective…very interesting)
http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/cslewis/index.htm (C.S. Lewis biography)
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
So I realize its been a couple of weeks since the last JL's Pants post, and for those of you who have been upset by the fact it's taken me this long to disseminate my thoughts....oops.
Two episodes back was a Jack-centric flash-forward tale entitled Something Nice Back Home. This past week's was called Cabin Fever and via back story followed our boy Locke's life from birth to sweaty existence on a creepy, magical island. For the sake of time and sanity I will be focusing at first on a few key points from SNBH and then sink deeper in to Cabin Fever parsing.
Few noteworthy events, thoughts, and theories from two weeks ago:
-Rose pointed out that Jack got sick (which is similar to Ben getting sick). This may be the island's attempt to teach both leaders of their respective packs a lesson. Right when each group needed their leader, Ben got a tumor and Jack had appendicitis. Rose reminding us that people dont get sick on the island, they get better was too much of a clue for it not to have some broader significance. Both men are in need of correction in certain moral and character-trait flaw areas.
-When Jack heard the smoke alarm go off, he came out and saw his daddio sitting in the waiting room on a couch. I feel like the hint of using a smoke alarm is pointing to the Smoke Monster being responsible for making dead people appear not only on the island, but in this case (and possibly Charlie showing up at Hurley's mental institution), off the island as well.
-Jack seems to be getting past many of his issues in the future (this episode, in case you didnt put it together, is after the trial scenes we saw in Kate's flash-forward earlier this season) but then cant handle things when someone (Charlie via Hurley) tells him he shouldn't raise Aaron. Thats the last thing a guy with self-esteem and self-worth issues needs to hear. Compound that with the fact he obviously has issues with even looking at Aaron who reminds him of the sister he most certainly learns about before getting off the island. I think Jack makes the call to leave Claire behind (if she's not already dead...more on that later) and it eats him up inside every time he looks at the little blonde-haired tyke now that he and Kate made it off safe.
-Jack is reading Alice in Wonderland to Aaron near the start of the episode. The obvious and numerous allusions and connections between LOST and Lewis Carrol's classic could fill up two blogs. Something interesting I found related to Alice lore is the poem called The Jabberwocky which is about a brave soul (as opposed to an old soul, of which I know two that live in the Ukrainian Village) who ventures out in to a mysterious wooded area (jungle) to slay a mysterious, black, smokey monster. Read it and love it.
-Have to mention the Millennium Falcon/Star Wars reference...Jack steps on a toy figurine of the legendary space ship. Are they trying to tell us that Jack is really Han Solo, or, due to the fact that he steps on it and says "S of a B" is that an homage to the fact that those who care to know see similarities between Sawyer's character and the smuggler who stole Princess Leia's heart? Sawyer is still the thorn in Jack's side and the tension between those three lovers is palpable even off the island. The person Kate was talking to on the phone was Sawyer's ex-girl Cassidy who is the mother of his daughter Clementine. Kate promised Sawyer to go and help both ladies, and Kate was laughing on the phone with her when Jack walked in because the Kate and Cassidy met last season in Kate's back-story when Cassidy helped her find her mom. Trust me on this one.
Okay, so enough about Something Nice Back Home.....on to the Locke-centric masterpiece Cabin Fever, which, as Doc Jensen on Entertainment Weekly's website said, was for the hardcore LOST fan. (Reid his first paragraph to hear why he believes that to be so)
Obviously Locke is my favorite character (ever), and so any chance we get to see what makes this complicated man tick is going to scratch me right where I itch. We find out that Locke's mom gave premature birth to the boy wonder after being hit by a bar as she ran out of the house on her way to a date with, presumably, the father of baby John. Names are important in this show, and just like John the Baptist's father insisting the boy be named as such, Locke's madre yelled after he baby boy, "Call him John....His name is John." Locke is a miraculous story on the island, and it appears he has been his whole life. Instead of embracing the reality of who he is and the gifts/talents he's been given, Locke has consistently run away from his destiny. But destiny has come-a-calling time after time after time for JL.
First when he was born and still in the hospital when Richard Alpert appears outside the window of his room. Five years later, while in foster care (after his mother rejected him, or didn't want him, or, perhaps, was told not to raise him....hmm), Locke is re-visited by the Ageless Wonder Alpert yet again. This time under the guise that he has a school for gifted chilren....that is on an island where if you don't get Dharma-ed, purged, or Smokey Monstered, you won't be able to leave anyway because some short bug-eyed freak has the only keys to a rickety old submarine that allegedly shuttles folks too and fro real world and LOST Time (Mittelos). The objects Alpert lays out for Locke to choose between can be seen here for review. Little Locke is playing Backgammon (Walt-like) and drew some bizzare, disturbing pic of stick-figure dude getting smothered by a black cloud of smoke.
As far as the objects go, Locke ends up passing over the compass and vile full of sand in favor of the weapon he wants to be the thing that he would own out of all the choices. Even at age 5 Locke wanted to be a super-hero. It's like he's always known that he is special but no one else does. And even when people do recognize his abilities and like him for being him (i.e. Alpert and his high school science teacher and Helen, the ex he fell from grace with because he couldn't let his dad go) Locke then messes things up himself some how. Alpert, as he's showing the items to Locke, asks him "Which one is already yours?" This ritual is apparently very similar to how the next Buddha is chosen each time. The child participating either knows the right thing to pick or he doesnt. It seemed as if Locke knew, even at 5 years old, that he shouldnt pick the knife, but he wanted it. It made me think of the episode from Season 3 when Locke loses his voice and goes in to a sweat-shack with some narcotics to commune with the island. In that episode's (Further Instructions) flash-back Locke talks with Eddie (the undercover cop) about being a farmer or hunter and even the cop knew John was a farmer. Locke is a lover, not a fighter...but he's a fighter too, so dont get any ideas.
Moving further along, Locke's high school teacher tells him Alpert wants him to come to summer camp at Mittelos Bioscience's labs near Portland. He refuses and utters his catch phrase, "Don't tell me what I can't do!" If only poor Locke could've embrace who he is meant to be earlier in life...The next flash-back is Locke rehabilitating his limp legs when who should appear but Matthew Abbadon, our friendly Widmore recruiter and Hurley stalker. He pushes Locke symbolically and literally to the edge of the stairs and then offers him a challenge to go and try a Walkabout in Australia. It's as if Abbadon, who we assume worked for Widmore at the time, is one of these guides along the way that are prompting different eventual Lostaways toward their destination on the island. (Think: Desmond's old lady telling him not to marry Penny)
Side note: "Australia is the key to the game," is what Hurley (one of the special ones) said in Ben's episode when the boys were playing Risk in Othersville. Rose and Bernard were told that Australia held one of the special places on earth that could heal people when they went to that weird healer dude in the outback. Obviously everyone on the plane was in Australia as well, for various reasons. (More on Australia next week, but think about it and if you have any good theories before then, let me know.)
In present island time, Locke, Hurley, and Linus travel through the jungle to find Jacob's cabin and along the way my boy Horace Goodspeed makes an appearance to Locke. He tells Locke that they've been waiting for him for a long time. I think Locke has obviously been being groomed since the earliest age for his task/place on the island, but like Alpert says to little Ben when in his backstory he runs in to the woods and meets Alpert for the first time, Locke had to choose it for himself. He had the "goods", but had to choose to use them voluntarily. Same with Ben, who has apparently fallen from graces with Jacob and the island. When the trio finally finds the cabin, Locke goes in and finds Christian Shepard and Claire. They tell John to "move the island."
Thoughts, theories, ramblings from Cabin Fever:
-Claire is dead, dying when her house blew up in Othersville. She can be seen and even touched, but so could Yemi when Eko saw him, or the black stallion when Kate saw it, etc. The island is trying to get Aaron off the island for some reason and Claire was a sacrifice the island demanded because she had broken the rule the psychic had given her back in season one and let Charlie help raise Aaron (who paid with his own life).
-Widmore has agents leading people to the island, just as Ben does. They are jockeying for position over who will control the island, like they told us, and Locke is the chosen one. Ben knows this and wanted to off Locke and keep control because he knows if Locke gets his rightful position of power on the island, Widmore will be able to gain control. They are competing for information and influence in and among the Lostaways before, on, and after the island.
-Or...I've heard a few people say now that maybe Ben is Locke's dad. He is the mysterious lover of Emily Locke. They never show us who the father is and Anthony Cooper might really have just been a con-man. He can time-travel, went back, knocked up Emily, and now has been waiting for his son to come to him. Just like Ben put the island before his other daughter, Alex, and let her die (Which was so sad, wasn't it)....he didnt hesitate shooting his son in the kidney and leaving him for dead in the Purge Pit. Or....Widmore is Locke's dad and that is why he sent his guy, Abbadon, to check in on Locke as Ben sent his guy, Alpert, in as well. Again, the competition thing between Ben and Charles.
Okay, I seriously can't write any more, and you likely do not want to read any more (if you've made it thus far to begin with). For more fun facts and analysis, check out the lostpedia links I've put here or read Doc Jensen's excellent columns at EW.
Good day to you,
JL's Baby Booties
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
If you don't get why the title of this blog is funny, or how it relates to the title of this week's episode of LOST (Meet Kevin Johnson), you're probably a girl...or a dude I'm not interested in getting to know. Sorry.
So we've got until April 24th for the next new episode, with only five more left to this strike-shortened season. Booo! But, the writers did leave us with some pretty interesting developments on the island and finally answered some big questions regarding Michael, Walt, Tom's sexual preference, and whether or not the "island" has "powers" off the island.
First off, the time-line of the show is in need of some clarification. In terms of Michael and Tom's encounter in Manhattan, it seems to have been during that month or so (in island time) between when Ben sent Mike and Walt on their merry way and when Tom was shot by Sawyer on the beach at the end of last season. Tom is not back from the dead, and Walt does look 8 years older and a little chubby.
Michael apparently told Walt how it was that he managed to free the two of them (think:trigger happy) and this understandably made Walt freak out and not want to be around his dad. Think about it: the kid never knew his dad, his mom died and Mike shows up to take him to NYC where along the way they crash on a creepy island and Walt is kidnapped and "Studied" by Ben and the Gang. His dad he barely knows then tells him the reason they are busted out is because he shot two chicks in the thorax (or abdomen or something). But, on the other hand, your dad just got you two rescued so some gratitude might be in order. Either way, the kid's pissed at daddio and daddio is on blues-street.
Once again Mamma Cass's sweet pipes find their way in to an episode of LOST, this time in the form of her song "It's Getting Better" which Michael listens to as he is barreling in to a dumpster, and then later when he's about to press the "Execute" (same as the hatch) button on Ben's make-shift (and fake) bomb. He also sees Libby twice, once in the hospital room and once on the freighter. This is the island's way of communicating to Michael's guilty conscience. Just like Eko saw Yemi, Kate saw the black stallion (who was her re-incarnated dad), and Jack saw his father, the island uses the guilty consciences of our castaways to seemingly rehabilitate them for future purposes. Now whether those purposes are for their own good or simply for the good of the island, that is left to be seen. What is interesting is that the island works in the hearts and minds of people who are no longer on the island. This we did not know for sure before. Whatever this power the island (or Jacob) possesses is impressive and far-reaching and apparently not limited to being physically there.
So Tom comes to pay a visit to Michael and recruits him on a make-up-for-past-sins mission to sabotage the freighter from ever reaching its port of entry: the island. Ben, in some typically bizarre showmanship of just how benevolent he can be, psyches out Mike by making him think that he'd have to commit suicide and kill all the Boat People by detonating a bomb in the engine room. But once again, Ben insists that he is one of the "good guys." I'm starting to wonder if we're being led down the path of how creepy Ben can be to blind us from the fact that he may actually be a "good" guy. Now granted he's weird and has even killed to get his way, but the bigger picture of the story arch of this show may include his own redemption....or he'll kamikaze himself in to a dumpster while listening to "California Dreaming" by the Mammas and the Pappas.
The island is powerful enough that it can prevent someone from dying until their "work" is done. Tom even taunts Mike to go and try and "off" himself, and when Mike takes him up on it, the pistol misfires. Michael has a son who hates him, a conscience heavier than OJ's, he's just survived by what all accounts was a traumatic experience on a psychotic island, he can't tell anyone who he is, he's being stalked by chubby gay dudes who punch like a grizzly bear...and now he's not even able to call it a day and shoot his brains out with some dignity? Bummer, bro.
When Michael wakes up in the hospital after attempting his vehicular suicide, he is in a room next to an old man who I think looks like Alvar Hanso (the founder of DHARMA). More on that theory next time, but it would make sense that either DHARMA or the Others had something to do with how easy it was for Michael to stay in a hospital and leave without any identification or explanation.
The next time Mike tries to kill himself is with a gun he purchased by bartering with the watch Jin had given him on the island. That watch seems to be evil too. On the island Mike almost got killed originally by Jin for wearing it. That watch is the reason Jin and Sun are on the island. Now it is used to buy a weapon to commit suicide with. Perhaps the bad karma surrounding the watch is due to its original owner...Mr. Paik. The island knows he is in on things too with Charles Widmore and has therefore cursed the time-telling device. Kind of makes sense, right?
On the boat, Sayid does not trust Michael nor is he impressed with his allegiance with Ben and the Others so he drags Mike in front of the ominous Capt. Gault and rats out his former friend. We're left hanging with how that will all play out, but things get more complicated as I sort them out in my mind because we have to remember a few things to make sense of Sayid's actions and where the story-line might possibly go. Michael told (via note) Sayid and Dez not to trust the captain, but he was doing it on Ben's instructions and based on the evidence Tom presented Mike in that hotel room regarding Widmore's evil plan to kill all the island dwellers. We also know Sayid in the future is hunting down what appears to be the Boat People's bosses or higher-ups. I think eventually Sayid will come to regret his decision to take sides with the captain, and that Michael was right to warn about trusting him. The scene where Michael is shocked to find his crew-mates with semi-automatic weapons was priceless, but a good indicator of what ultimate intentions Widmore (and his Captain Gault) have in mind for the island people.
Switching gears to wrap up here...the plot has thickened yet again between Ben and his daughter Alex. Seemingly with good intentions (something his daughter should have known better than to trust) Ben gives a map to the Temple station (which was mentioned late last season as the place the Others were headed) and tells Alex, Rousseau, and even dopey Karl to roll out in order to avoid the blow-back that may be coming if the Boat People attack and get their hands on Ben's "daughter." Along the way they stop for a drink of water and two of them end up with bullets in their chests. The question then becomes was it Ben's jealousy of losing his daughter's love that drove him to have some of the Others shoot the pair, or was it Boat People? If you remember, Frank took some of the people on an "errand" which we never learned more about. Could the errand have been to come and grab a few more people for questioning, or to find Ben himself, or perhaps they already knew about his daughter and were looking for her? I'm gonna go with Boat People being responsible, but it certainly is not out of the realm of possibility that Ben would pull a stunt like this....sickie.
Thoughts, theories, and pontifications:
-The Island is using some defense mechanism to mess with the minds of the crew members which in turn is "calling" them to come to the island knowing full well that this will kill them (either through the type of brain meltdown that Minkowski had, or through their own suicide because the Island exposes them to the same inner demons as it has to the likes of Eko). I'd also love to think that Walt is somehow involved with this. Maybe the Others use special people like him to mess with their enemy's mind?
-The "innocent people" on the freighter will include CS Lewis, Faraday, and Frank (maybe even Miles). Now whether they actually survive or not, and whether Ben is telling the truth and really cares about being benevolent or not remains to be seen....but I do like the four new-comers this season and at least three of them seem to have pure motives.
-The coffin from the end of last season is Michael or Walt's. This would explain why no one came to the funeral (because no one knows they are off the island) and why the funeral parlor was in an all-black neighborhood. I wonder if Obama's pastor did the eulogy?
So that's it from me for now folks. Sorry this one took a little longer to put together, but we've got a few weeks now to mull over the info we've got. April 24th things get rolling again and I'm looking forward to finding out more about how the Oceanic Six got off now that we know who they are. Don't miss JL's Pants too much this next month, and please post more comments and theories as the mood strikes you.
Karl's Punctured Nalgene Bottle
Monday, March 24, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sun bears a child, Jin buys a panda (and apparently "the farm"), Michael passes a note (not the "Do you like me? Check Y or N" kind that I use to send some lucky girl's way in 5th grade), and we finally meet the mysterious Captain of Widmore's ship The Kahana: Captain Gault.
Michael makes his return and is finally back on the LOST scene. Dude's changed his name to match that of the starting point guard of the NBA's Phoenix Suns (circa 1993), Kevin Johnson, and appears deathly afraid that Sayid will spill the proverbial (lima) beans in front of the ship's doctor. Desmond never would have met Mike/K.J. so he's got no reaction, but must be upset to find cockroaches and the remnants of splattered brain-guts on the wall of his new crib. But as far as Michael is concerned, we can now assume that he is: the saboteur that the captain spoke of, the one who left the door open for Desmond, Sayid and Minkowski to get to the communications room two weeks ago, and the one who passed a note reading "Dont trust the captain" to the boys while in the sick-bay.
Speaking of the infamous captain, we first meet him as Regina, the shell-shocked broad who we find reading a book upside down, wraps steel chains around her chest and banzai's her way to victory (victory = Davey Jones' Locker) off the side of the freighter in what appears to be a trance. Capt Gault tells the crew to not save her as Sayid and Desmond look on with "WTF?" expressions on their sun-seared faces. Life on the ship appears and sounds treacherous at best and suicidal at worst. The captain is not to be trusted (or so Michael says), and the doctor warns "He's a straighter-shooter, but don't piss him off."
So with that in mind we consider what he has to say about Oceanic 815's black-box, Widmore's role in everything, and his assertion that Ben is responsible for the cover up (not Widmore, like I thought) and for putting 300 dead bodies on the floor of the Indian Ocean. All in an Other's-day work, right? I thought this was HUGE (if it's to be "trusted") that Ben was behind the airplane and the dead bodies. We're now talking about an operation that is exponentially larger than we previously thought. It's not just a rag-tag band of Others, but would need to either be a massive conglomerate of Others who are out in the real world working around the clock to pull off such a feat....or Jacob used his powers to put it there. (Remember the "whatever you wish for...there it would be" talk Ben gave Locke last season?)
My favorite theory on Michael is that he was given specific coordinates by Ben at the end of season two and those coordinates (which were different than Faraday's to Frank) pushed Michael and Walt back in time and when they were back in time, Ben jumped back as well and stole Walt again and has been holding him hostage again until Michael sabotages the boat enough so that they can't find Ben.
Sun and Jin's story was a heart-warming, but ultimately gut-wrenching, tale of love, infidelity, forgiveness and (so far as we know in Jin's case) death. The grave stone that Jin and a still-portly Hurley visited showed that the world thinks Jin died on Sept.22nd 2004. This is no shocker because we already know that there is some "lie" that the Oceanic Six is living. I think that Jin is dead and not simply back on the island. My reasoning goes like this: Sun is a passionate, out-spoken Korean woman who is dealing with the guilt of having cheated on her husband when we see her last on present island time in this episode. Whatever happens later to cause the six of them to lie about what happened on the island must include Jin's death because of all the members in the Oceanic Six, Sun would be far-and-away the most likely NOT to keep a secret if there were any chance her hubby (who, by they way, speaks fluent English in real life and is doing a horrendous job of pretending to speak only a little of it) was still alive. The way she is crying at the cemetery, combined with the fact that Jin made a point to say something to the effect of "I'll protect you no matter what it takes" leads me to postulate that Jin will make a tough decision to get his wife off the island once he finds out (which we presume he already did last week thanks to Juliet) that his beloved Sun will perish if kept on the island.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury...the prosecution rests its case.
I've got a lot more to say about the captain and the boat and those theories, but I wasn't too hot-to-trot on this episode and feel that after next week's, I'll have plenty more to fill in regarding such matters.
I've got one more interesting nugget of literary tie-in's. I was re-reading the Trial of Socrates this week (yes, I'm the kind of loser who reads things like that for fun...but it will pay off when I'm either on Jeopardy or asked to be Governor of Illinois), and I couldn't shake the idea that Ben is in a position much like Socrates was while on trial (figuratively speaking of course). Hear me out, all you Grecian philosophy scholars. Socrates was surrounded by men (who, by the way, he often referred to "others") that he considered to be his enemies, but only because they were not enlightened to the truths that he himself had discovered and now possessed. Then there was another group of people who hated Socrates who were not only un-enlightened, but were evil and devious in their attempts to arrest, question, and eventually execute Socrates. On Socrates' "side" were his hand-picked followers who studied at his feet and treated him almost saintly.
Sound familiar? Socrates was actually "right" in defending his view of the world and of philosophy (i.e. his mission or purpose in life), but was only understood and appreciated by those who also had caught his vision. There were then the masses who he considered his enemy only in that they failed to see or understand what he was trying to do. Finally, a group that sought, for selfish and commerical and political reasons to silence a man they all agreed was a menace to society.
Maybe, just maybe, we are looking at Ben from the wrong perspective. He's creepier than all get out, and has undoubtedly done something ethically questionable things...but maybe when he says "We're the good guys, John" he really means it. This, of course, could simply be from his demented perspective, and objective truth (including right/wrong, light/darkness) certainly does exist in our world and in LOST's world...but it's something interesting to consider.
That's all for now. My theories are that this show will continue to be the best ever made by humans and that this Thursday night will be an episode to remember. (I also predict that I will be speaking to many of you about how incredible this week's episode was after it airs via text and or personal phone call, especially if you're an attractive member of the fairer sex.)
Friday, March 14, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
In a word...."Wow"
Now it's unnecessary and redundant for me to come up each week with new ways to describe how much I like this show, so let me just say that this weeks' episode, The Constant, was better than all of the previous episodes of all other shows in television history combined. There's Shakespeare, Rembrandt, and now Damon Lindelof (creator and co-executive producer of LOST).
We begin with a chipper Desmond on the helicopter en route to the freighter our four new Boat People promise they've come from. Said freighter is called Kahana, which according to a Hawaiian Dictionary means "n. Cutting, drawing of a line; turning point." But, as luck would have it, when Frank the pilot followed Faraday's instructions from last week to fly on the set bearing "no matter what happens" (in order to find the boat again) the three were forced to fly through an electromagnetic cloud that apparently had something to do with sending Dez back in time to the year Michael Jordan won the first of his second three-peats in Chicago, 1996.
Other great things about 1996: The Verve Pipe's smash single The Freshmen, the movie Cable Guy, Seinfeld was still on the air, I was in shape, and the Republican candidate beat Bill Clinton to become our 43rd President....is what I would say if the GOP had had any sense about them and hadn't nominated the biggest turkey of a candidate (not named John Kerry...remember that loser?) simply because Senator Dole was the safe play for a timid Party who cared more about the fact that he had "paid his dues" in the Senate for more than three decades than the fact that he was unlikely the best choice or even electable. Sound familiar?
But I digress.
Desmond, we already know, has the capability to travel back in time (see: "Flash Forward" episode from last year when he went back in time and re-lived his mistake in not marrying Penny). We also knew that the guy can hop forward (if only briefly and sporadically) to see Charlie's future and ultimate death. But then there seems to be something else going on in this episode that has accelerated the process. From the time he takes off on the helicopter till the time he lands on the freighter, something changes. When he arrives on the ship, and is put into the sick-bay with the only person creepier than Ben (Minkowski), we learn new information that others have similar time-travel powers as Desmond's. In fact, someone else has already died from its "side effects" (as Faraday describes them to Jack back on the island). We also learn that it is Desmond's consciousness, not his physical body, that travels in time. The common thing that all three of the characters who have time-traveled share is that each has tried to either leave or come to the island in a boat. Desmond on his yacht, and Minkowski and his friend Brandon on the ship's tender (small boat).
Desmond called the island a "bloody snow globe" at the end of season two when he was on his Jack-like bender (before eventually turning the key in the hatch). Perhaps he wasn't just speaking out of his rear when he said this. Maybe there is a literal line or outline around the island that if you physically cross it, you are no longer the same (or in the same time). Taking it even further, perhaps you have to be on a boat, up close and personal, when you cross it for the effects to take hold (which would explain why no one else on the copter seems to have been affected yet, and why the Others use a submarine to go back and forth from the island).
Getting back to 1996 time, Desmond is told (back in 2004) by Faraday to go and find him at Oxford College in England (university where CS Lewis taught for a while) and relay vital information regarding his time-travel experiments with a rat named Eloise. Dez finds out that he will need a "Constant" to avoid having his brain melt and decides upon Penny. He then heads to find Mr Windmore to locate Penny. In what will likely turn out to be a critically important scene, Dez confronts Charles Windmore who is busy buying the personal journal of the Black Rock's first-mate, Tovard Hanso. They talk things over in the Men's room where Windmore appears to be less disgusted with Dez than he usually is and even offers his daughter's address to him.
The last time they met was in Windmore's ofice where he told Dez that he wasn't worth the whiskey in his glass. This time Windmore seems to be much more willing to talk and even help our Scottish friend. I believe that this (among many other clues) points conclusively to Windmore being "in" on everything that is going on with the Boat People (Abbadon, Naomi, Faraday, etc.). Windmore, I believe, will be found out to be the person responsible for directing the ship that found Oceanic 815 to the Sunda Trench (but will have sent them there ostensibly to look for the Black Rock). Basically, Windmore and whoever else he's working with used the cover of looking for the Black Rock to send people out to where they had planted a fake Oceanic 815 wreckage so the world would stop looking for the survivors and the Boat People could secretly use the information that Windmore knew his own daughter was collecting to find Desmond to locate the island without her (and the rest of the world) even knowing about it. I mean, why else would there be a "Bat-phone" line on the boat (according to Minkowski) that was a direct line to Penny?
Moving forward back to the freighter ship in 2004, Dez, Sayid, and Minkowski decide to make a break for the control room and call Penny (his Constant). The door to the sick bay is open and Minkowski says "You must have a friend on the boat." This, could very likely be Michael and/or Walt. He would also then be the one who destroyed the equipment earlier because he is Ben's "man on the boat". But more on that next week.
So Daniel Faraday is as important a character in this episode as Desmond. He sends Dez to Oxford to help him, and at the end of the episode he is looking at his notebook where it says that if anything goes wrong, "Hume will be my constant." It shouldn't be any surprise to you when I say that the sole purpose for the Boat People coming to the island is NOT simply to get Ben. Faraday is a time-traveler too and has something else going on, or you could say, he's there for ulterior motives. I think back to the episode where we were introduced to each of the four helicopter people, and it begins with Faraday watching tv as the news of the Oceanic wreckage is first being broadcasted and he starts to cry. He isnt sure why he is crying. Add that to the fact that when he was testing the rat at Oxford, Desmond asked him what he wore for protection from the radiation over his head and he just kind of snickered. Faraday, we will later see, did the testing on himself after Eloise and is now hoping to use Desmond (someone he knew he would eventually see on the island) as his constant to accomplish whatever this ulterior motive is. (We might find out next week from the looks of the preview that shows Faraday and Charlotte donning Haz-mat suits.)
The end of the episode was nicely done with Dez calling Penny when he said he would on Christmas Eve and the two re-connecting their Odyssey-like love. Penny looked to be wearing a wedding ring (think: Helen Hunt's character in Castaway) and will probably break poor Desmond's heart when we find out she married some loser. But, I'll give her the fact that she's been working hard to find him and kept the same number all that time.
There's been some confusion about the time-line of Dez-Penny events so let me briefly clear things up:
-The earliest meeting of the two is when Desmond bails on his first love (Ruth) at the alter and goes to the monastery where he is promptly fired and introduced to Penny whose father SENT her to pick up wine.
-Desmond breaking up with Penny is the next back story we know of the two
-He then joins the military and we see that part of things played out in this last episode
-The next time the two are together is at the football stadium in LA as he is about to run the steps and meet Jack
-Desmond then leaves on the race and ends up on the island and Penny begins her search. Somehow she knows what to be looking for. Perhaps we will see another time-travel from someone on the island (maybe even Dez again) where Penny is told about what to look for (electromagnetic anomaly's). Because as of right now, we have no idea how else Penny would know to have those chess-playing scientists from the end of seasons two looking for electromagnetic pulses.
Needless to say, I'm looking forward to "The Other Woman" this Thursday. Juliet receives an unwelcome visit from someone from her past and is given orders to track down Charlotte and Faraday in order to stop them from completing their mission -- by any means necessary. Meanwhile, Ben offers Locke an enticing deal
Gosh, what a show! Anyway, that's my attempt to re-cap this week's episode, and here are some thoughts and theories:
-December 26th, 2004 is when the Tsunami hit the Indian Ocean and wreaked such devastating havoc on that part of the world. This will be two days after Desmond called Penny on the boat. It will have a huge impact on the island, the castaways, and the Boat People. Maybe there was another Tsunami earlier in the island's history (which put the Black Rock ship in the jungle and eroded the rest of the four-toed statue Sayid saw at the end of season two)
-Juliet will have a dream like Locke and Eko have had and someone (maybe her dead ex-husband) will tell her to stop Faraday/Charlotte as the preview from next week alludes to.
-Ben had told Michael to follow a bearing of 325 when he let he and Walt go, but Faraday has Frank the Pilot follow a 305 bearing. John 3:5 is the verse Eko had on his stick that told Locke to "look North". Ben gave Michael bum directions hoping that he and Walt would find the boat and then become his "inside man" who he could then blackmail to make Michael sabotage the equipment.
-If Minkowski is right when he said "It's going to happen to all of us", then more people will become time-travelers and Kate's could be Aaron, Jack's could be Kate, etc.
Alright, I'm donzo for now. Post your comments and questions. See you in the Funny Papers.
Faraday's Ponytail ('96 version)
Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Locke makes Ben breakfast, Sawyer's shacking up with Hurley, and Jin wants to move to Albuquerque.....and those weren't even the good parts of this week's LOST??? Hmm, must have been a good one.
First matter of business, the meaning of the episode's title: "Eggtown...Egg-town is a pejorative term that refers to the days of bartering, during the Great Depression. A traveling salesman would have to barter his candy or tobacco or shoelaces for different commodities. A poor exchange would be for eggs, a relatively common item that is also highly perishable. Nobody wants to trade for eggs from a traveling salesman because they have their own, so the salesman who accepted an egg in exchange was forced to accept a bad deal. Salesmen would use the term like "If I were you I would stay away from Bogart. That's an egg-town." Of course, the lack of trust among salesman was also high, and it was likely that one salesman would lie to another about the quality of a town's customers to keep them for himself. Invariably, the second salesman ventures into Bogart only to find it is truly an egg-town. He is either persuaded to not visit a town that has good customers or is tricked into visiting a town that can only offer eggs. The term "egg-town" represents a deal with undesirable outcomes in either case."
That, of course, is from Lostpedia's posting about this episode. I love all the new allusions to economics and trade theory this show has implemented. Locke is struggling to make deals with his own people, let alone Ben and Miles. Kate is making deals with Sawyer (then ditching him), Miles, and the District Attorney and her own mother when she gets off the island. Miles has a side deal brewing with Ben for a seemingly arbitrary dollar amount. (Or is it?)
Taking this economic line of thinking further than it needs to go, one of the key ingredients to a free market is voluntary participation, but something that economists like Adam Smith and John Locke (the real one) believed was also critical to the system of economy would be moral individuals who, despite working in their self-interest, were following a "standard" or commonly accepted "set of rules". Locke, in this episode, eventually even makes the comment that no one is following the rules voluntarily, so he'll put limits on how "free" this island market can get.
Is this the island or Oliver Stone's 1987 classic Wall Street starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen?This Kate-centric opens with my boy Locke preparing the "last two eggs in town" for the man who corners the market on "creepy", Benry Gale-Linus. I found it ironic that Locke slept in Ben's house, in his bed, etc. (since both men have had their issues with each other, and with walking, since Flight 815 crashed). Locke has reversed the literal roles since being in Othersville last (when he was locked up in the same basement for blowing up the submarine...allegedly), but still has no real good grasp on what to do. Also noteworthy is the fact that Locke has Ben locked up in the same room where Ben was keeping "the man from Tallahassee" (Anthony Cooper, Locke's dad). It seems that Ben has replaced Locke's dad as the "father who doesn't want/love me, has tried to kill me, and mocks me for my weaknesses that he (Ben and/or Cooper) helped to create" role in Locke's life. Just what he needed, right? Ben comments to John that he is "more LOST than ever" which is just the kind of thing that would potentially cause Locke to do something like, uh, I dont know, through a plate with eggs and honeydew melon against a brick wall maybe?
Ben seems to always be in control, even when locked up in his own basement. Locke does seem LOST, having not been able to find Jacob or his cabin (something even Hurley could do). The entire episode Locke seems desperate and angry and cranky. This is a common theme on the show during the past 3-plus seasons. Locke gets motivated/excited when things go well (i.e. he can walk after three years in a wheel chair, the light shines out of the hatch when Boone is dying and Locke is asking for a sign, his faith is restored in the hatch when it is too late at the end of season two when he looks at Eko and says "I was wrong"), but then becomes irritable and desperate any time things go wrong. For a "man of faith", he certainly loses his (and his temper) very quickly. One would almost say he's human.
One other quick note about Locke.....last season after he got back from rescuing Eko from the polar bear, he was motivated and in high spirits. He told the beach dwellers that he would do what he could to get their friends (Jack, KAte, Sawyer) back from the Others. He led a group to the Pearl station to hopefully find clues as to how they could find the Others' camp and when Nikki said to him "Jack would never let us come with", Locke responds "This is a democracy and I dont run things like Jack". Then in tonight's episode, Locke says almost the exact opposite. Locke is obsessed with comparing himself to Jack and part of his own tragic flaw is the inability to feel confident in, and good about, himself. To be fair to my favorite character, he had a pretty "tough" life leading up to the crash.
But the big news (sorry I'm jumping around in the story here, but thoughts come to me and I'm a slave to them, like the Britney Spears song, when she had a little talent before getting "Federline-ed").....Aaron is being raised by Kate in the future with no Claire in sight. Kate obviously did not want her mom seeing her "son", and told her lawyer not to use her "son" on the witness stand, because she doesnt want anyone to find out the truth: something happened to Claire, and she, Jack, Hurley, Sayid, and probably whoever else is part of the Oceanic Six are lying about what went on on the island. Claire, I'll graciously wager, either got left behind or will end up being killed.
Thinking back to season one, the psychic who told Claire originally to go, Richard Malkin, said that only Claire should raise her baby because evil would surround him (Aaron). There is a deleted scene from Season Two that I wrote about last year when those dvd's came out where in the episode when Eko goes to investigate the girl who drowned and came back to life, we discover that the girl's father is Richard Malkin, the psychic. In this deleted scene I'm talking about, he tells Mr Eko that someone gave him $16,000 to make a pregnant girl get on a plane to L.A. So the psychic who originally told her not to give the baby away because evil surrounded it (something I believe he really meant) sold her out and sent her to LA with $6000 of that $16000. I use to think that the psychic was a part of the same group of time-traveling "guides" who have been directing many of the people on the island to the island in their past lives (i.e. the old woman who told Desmond he couldnt marry Penny), but now I think he was simply used by whoever those people are (Others, or the Boat People and Matthew Abbadon) to get Claire to get on the plane. So this would mean that his original prediction that Aaron was special, but needed to be raised by his mom or else evil would surround him, is going to help explain what it is that went so wrong on the island before the Oceanic Six got off it (and why Claire is not there raising her boy).
Speaking of the "boy", Aaron: Jack was not wanting anything to do with coming to see him with Kate and her house at the end of the episode. Perhaps just the sight of the boy is too painful because it reminds him of the island and whatever it is that went wrong (i.e. Jack had to make a tough decision to leave people behind). Or perhaps Jack thinks its Sawyer's kid and can't look at Aaron for that reason. But more likely than not, Jack doesn't want to see Aaron because whatever it is that went wrong and caused the Oceanic Six to lie about how many survived and all that must have involved Jack finally finding out that Claire is his sister, and when things went bad and Claire either got killed or left behind, Jack cannot forgive himself for it, nor look at his own flesh and blood, his nephew, Aaron Littleton. This might be a key to unlocking the mystery of why Jack wants to go back so bad. He left Claire, his own sister, and for someone like Jack who has to "fix" everything, the idea of abandoning his sister and separating her from her son, is too much to bear. (see: bearded Jack listening to Nirvana songs while boozing in the AM)
Jack, the honest doctor, is forced to lie not only about the happenings on the island, but about his true love for Kate. He said that eight survived, but only six got off, to the jury. Kate later said that she has heard Jack tell that same story (of how she saved everyone; a probably concocted as a means to help Kate when she got back get sympathy from the legal system who were waiting for her) that she thinks he's almost started to believe it. Why would they have to lie so bad? Did the people who helped them get off make them lie, or did the Oceanic Six decide to do this on their own? Can we extrapolate from Sayid's hunting down of what probably is the Boat People's bosses (or boss, the "he" Miles references when talking with Ben later) that the Boat People don't actually help the Oceanic Six get off, but that there is some other means by which they escape (like a submarine that someone didnt actually blow up last season)???
Back to Ben and Miles's conversation that Kate arranged: Miles said "Don't treat me like one of 'them'...Don't act like I dont know who you are and what you can do!" Miles also said that "He" has been looking for Ben for a long time. The "He" might just be Matthew Abbadon, but it also might be someone higher up who knows all about Ben and the island. Someone from the past, someone with possible DHARMA connections. Someone like Alvar Hanso, financier of the original DHARMA Initiative. Just a thought. Miles extorts Ben for money, and I am guessing that the way Ben gets cash (and enough of it that Miles and the people he works for know about it) is time travel. He can go back in time or to any country (hence, the money and various suits and clothes he has) and steal cash or possibly go back in time and invest money in the right stocks, business deals, etc. The front company that hired Juliet was called Mittelos Bioscience. Or, LOST Time Bioscience. So however it is the Others travel back and forth to the "real world", whether by submarine or by time travel, Ben needs a week to get "that kind of money" together for Miles. I'm not sure why Ben would trust Miles that he would never tell his "boss" where BEn was even after getting the cash, but something tells me Ben has more surprises in store for our Asian ghost-busting friend.
Random thoughts and theories:
-Hurley is watching the movie Xanadu (the name of a famed Mongolian city that was supposed to be Eden-like) at one point, which is a movie where people cross over from other dimensions into our world, but what I found that was more interesting regarding this pop-culture reference was this: Xanadu is the home of a famous comic book character, Mandrake the Magician, who "was an illusionist whose work was based on an impossibly fast hypnotic technique. As the narrator informed us: "Mandrake gestured hypnotically" and the subject or subjects of this hypnosis would suddenly see the illusions he wanted. Mandrake fought criminals and other villains in his spare time. This would include common gangsters, mad scientists, and aliens from outer space or other dimensions." Sounds island-esque, doesnt it?
- Hurley also asks Kate if she "Scooby-dooed" him. Besides being my favorite cartoon character to have on my underwear growing up, Scooby doo is a show about mysterious spirits and ghosts who generally end up being a "man behind the curtain" (think:Ben/Jacob). Scooby is also easily fooled by the most modest of tricks and mind games. (think: Hurley)
-CS Lewis (Charolette's namesake) and his Chronicles of Narnia are said by the co-creators of the show to be huge influences on the writing team on LOST. Last week, it came to my attention, that when I briefly mentioned the Narnia series I might have misrepresented the EXACT circumstances in which the children travel to the world of Narnia. I said they were "called", but in the first book "Lion,Witch,Wardrobe" the youngest girl Lucy finds it in the wardrobe. But, going forward in the series of books, like the very next one Prince Caspian, a horn is sounded in Narnia that the children hear while sitting on a train station platform and they are brought back to Narnia to help fight an evil tyrant. Throughout the series of books, not everyone who wants to come to Narnia is allowed, and we discover that the ones who are brought there are each brought there for a purpose. So, in short, these themes I alluded to last week are correct, but just were not fully explained. If you really want to know more, and are one of the 15 people on the planet who haven't read these books, go take care of that ASAP.
-I am feeling more time travel in the very near future by Desmond. If you caught it last night, in the preview for next week, he goes in one shot from being bearded with longer hair to being beard-less with a buzzed haircut. He is yelling at Daniel Faraday in some room, and Faraday appeared to have much longer hair/beard than he did when we saw him guessing at cards with Charolette on the beach.
Anyway, thats just my two cents...have a great week and please post any thoughts or theories of your own on the "Comments" section below.
Good day to you,
Sawyer's Feminine Reading Glasses