Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST S6: E17 & E18 FINALE- 'The End'

...For a moment the unearthly stillness of the desert enveloped us...
Then Newman said, "My father once told me a story I always think of, when the going gets rough and things look hopeless. It's about Destiny….
Destiny came down to an island, centuries ago, and summoned three of the inhabitants before him. 'What would you do,' asked Destiny, 'if I told you that tomorrow this island will be completely inundated by an immense tidal wave?'' The first man, who was a cynic, said, 'Why, I would eat, drink, carouse and make love all night long!' The second man, who was a mystic, said, 'I would go to the sacred grove with my loved ones and make sacrifices to the gods and pray without ceasing.' And the third man, who loved reason, thought for a while, confused and troubled, and said, 'Why, I would assemble our wisest men and begin at once to study how to live under water.' "
I, too, never forgot that story. When our cause seems doomed and the future LOST, when despair becomes unbearable and the heart is on the edge of breaking, let men summon hope and honor and high resolve in yet one more stubborn affirmation: Come, let us assemble our wisest men and begin at once to think, to study, to try to learn – even to learn, if we must, how to live under water."

-Leo Rosten, Captain Newman, M.D.

Legen... wait for it... dary. From the music to the aerial shots to the battle in the rain to everything coming full circle with Jack lying down and closing his eyes in the same spot he woke up and opened his eyes in the very first scene of the very first episode... loved it. I suppose I will have to find something new to obsess over and blog about now. Sigh. Or get a life.

Little satisfying acknowledgments and reveals:

-LockeNess referring to Jack as the obvious choice, because that is what we were all thinking
-Kate snickering at the name Christian Shephard-Island Claire saying she is crazy
-Juliet is Jack's baby mama as hoped/confirmed (though I guess the little guy doesn't actually exist, sad.)
-The whole story has been a combination of elements from different mythologies and religions, and I love that it remained generic to the end- like Christian standing in front of a stained glass window with icons from several theologies

Things that choked me up:

Okay, so I pretty much started getting emotional from the moment the show began and the music played, but here are some specific times:

-Every time someone had a flashback sequence and finally remembered
-Charlie's face watching Claire from the stage-Kate helping Claire give birth to Aaron, again
-Sawyer whispering, I've got you, to Juliet
-Jack saying to Desmond I'll see you in another life, brother
-Jack's conversation with Christian in the end

Things that made me smile like a fool:

-All the people who remember smiling like idiots at the people who don't remember yet (Hurley at Charlie, the Kwons at Sawyer, Kate with Jack...)
-The joyous reunions that came with two people remembering at once (Sayid & Shannon, Sun & Jin, Sawyer & Juliet, Kate & Claire...)
-Boone already being in the know and he and Hurley giving Shannon & Sayid a little more time
-Ben's face to Hurley when he finally got to be the chosen one
-Jack & Kate's epic kiss on the cliff
-The symbolism of them protecting the Light on the island and then walking into the Light in the end

Favorite lines:

-Sawyer asking Jack what the Burning Bush had to say for itself (te he)
-Kate to Jack- you didn't ruin anything, nothing is irreversible... Hurley, this would be so sweet if we weren't all about to die
-When Desmond was going down the hole and said he would go where the light was brightest, all I could think was, second star to the right and straight on til morning! (From Peter Pan)
-Miles- I don't believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape
-Charlie- I was shot by a fat man

From the very first season, fans clamored around the theory that the island was Purgatory, and the writers/producers promptly shot that down. It was very clever that the twist is that its actually the Flash-Sideways world that is, maybe not Purgatory, per se, more like Limbo, or a literal passage to the light, for the dead to move on. It's a very nice idea that you create a perfect world to find those that matter most to you so that you can remember and let go and then move on together. The ending, with them all hugging it out in the church, which Kirsten aptly named, The Titanic Moment (as in the final scene of Titanic when Rose walks up the stairs and everyone (especially Jack- what a great name!) is there) was also wonderful. Everyone there but those who weren't quite ready to move on yet- Ben, Miles, Charlotte, Daniel... (and those spirits who are apparently trapped forever on the island like Michael?)

For several weeks now I have been suspicious of the to-good-to-be-true nature of the sideways world, feeling like it was some kind of Matrix. Then last week Desmond had me confused when he said that he was there to help them, let go. I was so caught up in it all that the realization of what was really happening didn't hit completely hit me until Jack walked into the Church and looked at the casket and I knew Christian wouldn't be in there because they were all dead. I had an eye-popping, jaw-dropping, make-my-friends-pause-so-I-could-get-a-grip-and-explain moment.

At first when it ended, feeling extremely overwhelmed, I felt like there was a lack of continuity with them all being dead since there were a few in the Island time, aka, Real Time, that were still alive. The more I think about it the more perfect it is though. They really did go through all of that and successfully saved the island and fulfilled their destiny. Those that died seem to have sort of, waited for those who lived so they could all move on together. Hurley and Ben had their moment of -you were a good second...you were a good first, so they really must have cared for the island together for a time. For how long? It hardly matters, because as Christian said, this place they created has no place and no time- they created what was familiar and contemporary to them so that they could all find each other and be together. Though they didn't confirm it, and that's okay, its nice to wistfully think that Desmond got back to his Penny, that Kate and Claire stayed friends and lived a full life loving Aaron, and that maybe Sawyer and Miles did become cop partners! So when Kate said to Jack, I've missed you so much, it really must have been a while for her since she lived years longer than him. (And who knows about Richard.) Its also fun to think of Hurley finding his groove as the new Jacob. He would be a friendly face to meet, with Ben-as-the-new-Richard being the intimidating one. What a pair. I wonder who Hurley chose as his replacement...

Genius. Fulfilling yet lingering. I'll miss it and I want more, but I agree that it was time for it to end. The whole episode answered enough, but was still beautifully ambiguous, which is fitting, because all of LOST has been one exquisitely mysterious journey. C'est la vie.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Little Brother is All Growed Up and Graduated!

So this is a couple of weeks belated, because I was lazy about getting the pictures uploaded, but two weekends ago I went to Bozeman, Montana for the college graduation of my (second of four) little brother Parker (fondly nicknamed 'Bug'). My folks are still out of the country, so I was the family representative. He was a film student and it was really a lot of fun having him show me campus and show me his art classrooms and videos they have worked on and what not. It made me sentimental for school and made me think that Film would have been a pretty awesome major since, if this blog is any proof, I kinda like media stuff. Sigh, bygones. Once Bug is on a roll, he is hiring me as his personal assistant, so we're good ;)

Here is a little slide show of my brief but eventful adventures in Bozeman:

Here is a video of Bug actually walking across the podium. You know, for the folks:
video

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

LOST S6: E16- 'What They Died For'

At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one's LOST self. 
-Brendan Francis

Flash-Sideways:

Desmond has certainly found his stride in knocking the truth back into everybody. It has certainly been some quick and confident thinking on his part to be pulling off all of this. But, like he said to LockeNess on the island, he isn't afraid of anything. So I guess, why hesitate and second guess yourself and your purpose if you have no fear? The whole time I was thinking, 'the gangs all here!' It was so fun to see so many favorites/originals together and I love Desmond for making it happen. He made that call to Jack about the coffin arriving soon, so is his goal to get everyone to the airport? If they fly a plane out over the island will they mesh with their Island entities? Also, though I never really doubted him, it was nice to have it verified that he did in fact hit John to help him let go, and not to actually harm him. That phrase, 'help him let go,' is curious. I have been assuming he just needs to make them all remember, but as we have said before, this Sideways seems to be, for the most part, sort of a dream world idea of closure and being okay with that they have, yada, yada, yada. Maybe the reality, even if its darker, is better, because its the truth, and Desmond has to knock that into them. More than just remembering, but accepting as well, and being who they were before. The way that John is now, once again, a Man of Faith.


Side Note 1- I secretly always thought that Kate and Sayid would have been an awesome, Mr. & Mrs. Smith kinda team. Too bad that never happened. I always liked their chemistry and their mutual respect.
Side Note 2- Anna Lucia! It was nice to see you dear, but unlike all of the other old characters who felt like they were guest stars, she really just felt like a brief cameo, so it felt a little off. But alas, as Desmond said, she's not ready.
Side Note 3- I am still really hopeful that we will see Juliet in the finale, because I know we are going to be seeing some other familiar faces.

Island:

I was loving the whole Three Amigos feel of Richard, Ben and Miles. That is, until Richard got clobbered and Ben started acting like, well, Ben. He realized that Smokey was always the one in control. That conversation with Ben and Smokey on the porch was crazy. I was amused and horrified all at once. Nobody can deliver a line like Michael Emerson (Ben). At first I thought he was bluffing and it was going to be some kind of an attempt at a trap, but nope. Gave Charles up, shot him himself, then asked who else there was to kill. He was practically drooling. Not that I will really miss Charles, but I sort of wanted a little more time for some Charles/Ben frenemy banter. Charles said Jacob visited him after the freighter. Between that (since Ben is still bitter that Jacob never chose him) and Charles potentially getting to save his daughter (while Ben lost Alex) there was no way he was going to let him live.  

The conversation that Jacob had with the Final Four at the fire was amazing. I guess his ashes in the fire allow them to see and hear him? The most 'aaaaaahh' moment of the entire episode for me was finding out that Jacob only crossed Kate off of the list because she became a Mother and that was a more important role. 
I'll tell you what they died for, why I chose them and why I chose you, then I'll tell you all you need to know to protect the island because as soon as that flame goes out one of you will have to do it. Gah! I liked Jacob taking responsibility for his mistake. And then describing why he chose them... I didn't pluck any of you out of a happy existence... you were all flawed... like me... alone... all looking for something... you needed the island as much as it needs you. What is interesting is that he chose people who were more like his brother was, than like he was/is.

Jack volunteered! The minute he did, the first thought in my head was that he was going to get killed and one of the others would have to step up, but now that he's drunk Jacob's blessed water (interesting that its the incantation that counts and not what the liquid itself is- water, wine...) So since he is now like Jacob and Jacob's Crazy Mama before them, he should prove pretty hard to kill. Hopefully Richard isn't really dead from that little scuffle with Smokey and he and Jack can start a beautiful bromance. My friend Adam screeched so long and loud when Smokey came out and whacked Richard. Ha! 

Desmond is a Fail Safe. That's what Charles whispered to Smokey. (Charles was little too quick to give that information up, if you ask me. I know he was trying to save Penny, but he should have stuck with his original, and far more accurate, you'll kill her either way, mentality.) How can Smokey use this information and use Desmond to help destroy the island? Use him as some kind of electromagnetic conductor? Since Island Des and Sideways Des are so in sync, if one died would the other know? Would the other also die?

Striking lines of the night:

In the beginning when Kate was heartbreakingly talking about Sun & Jin and told Jack that they need to kill LockeNess and Jack simply replied, I know. Ooooh, good chills.

Miles to Ben in his old house before Smokey arrived: What's that? A secreter room? Haha!

Smokey to Ben when asked why he doesn't stay in smoke form all of the time: I like the feel of my feet on the ground. Makes me remember I was human. Ooooh, creeper chills.

Jacob to Hurley: You should get your friends Hugo. We're almost at the end. Yeah we are. (Sniffle)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Periodic Table of Super Powers

Hmmm, if I could only have one of each category, I believe I would take E - H - Ge. I like to be practical ;)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

LOST S6: E15- 'Across the Sea'

And then, something happened. I let go. LOST in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.
–Narrator in Fight Club

Ummmm, wow. This post is very quote-heavy because, well, the episode was so chock-full of captivating insights!

Crazy Mama & Her Spouts of Wisdom: Played by the always wonderful and entertaining Allison Janney, an actress that I was certainly not expecting to see in LOST. How long had she been there? Who passed the torch to her? She tells the birth mother that she got to the island the same way as them, "by accident." Then later, she tells the boys, "They're not like us, they don't belong here, we're here for a reason." Seems a little contradictory to me. Was she somehow watching the outside like Jacob later did and knew that the child of that woman would be her heir? She also says that she has "made it so you can never hurt each other." Okay, witch woman, but they can still be killed by others. Is the fact that MIB can't kill the Candidates because they are sort of protected by proxy of her little spell-casting since they are potential new Jacob's?

The Favored: Though there were a lot of eye-popping moments and comments in this episode, the most interesting thing to me is the fact that Jacob wasn't actually the desired Candidate himself. From the very beginning with the birth there was a lot of symbolism. Hair color and complexions aside, Jacob was the firstborn, wrapped in white and not crying, while No-Name is wrapped in black and bawling. From the beginning it appears that Jacob was the one that was innately good, while MIB is prone to deceit and can see the dead. (Though we know from Hurley that seeing the dead doesn't mean one is evil. Ha! That would be the biggest twist of all if Hurley ended up the evil spawn of MIB and a criminal mastermind!) she still states this in a positive way: "Jacob doesn't know how to lie, he's not like you, you're special." Yet she later tells Jacob, "I couldn't let you become one of them, I needed you to stay good." So she knew that Jacob was the 'good' one but favored MIB anyway, despite him being the one who leans towards deceit? Or perhaps because of this? Perhaps because he was more like the rest of humanity than Jacob she thought he would be the one to understand? Because she saw herself in him? MIB asks her at one point, "what's dead?" She tells him its "something you will never have to worry about." I suppose this conversation verifies that she was indeed going to choose him as her predecessor and was planning on giving him the Cup of Life.

From Man to Monster: Thirteen year old No-Name looked a lot like a mini Zac Efron. They did a good job showing us his humanity so that we could semi-relate. With who he was though, and not who he now is, since what he is now is merely a monstrous phantom version of his dead self. Curious that it ended up being Jacob who was the cause of the Man in Black's death and him turning into a monster. MIB has the innate ability to see the dead, but Jacob does not. You really can't blame the man fro feeling betrayed and for wanting to see his homeland and see what is out there in the world. Why should he respect the Light when he hasn't been told why he should, and when he can harness it's power? When he stabbed Crazy Mama and she was dying, he asked, "why wouldn't you let me leave mother?" She replied, "because i love you," and then she added "thank you..." Why the thanks? Because she has been in this position for so long and couldn't die and now she is finally being released?

The Back-Up Chosen One: Despite his seeming very innocent and Adam-like, Jacob was more than what he seemed. Despite choosing to stay with Crazy, he still came to see his brother and watched the people sometimes, to see if Mama was wrong about humanity. He disagreed, and it ended up being MIB who agreed with her on that stance- "You want to know if they're bad. The woman is mad but she is right about that... they're greedy, manipulative, selfish..." yet he wants to be one of them. Also paralleling a conversation we have seen before is when Crazy Mama is describing the warring of Mankind and says, "it always ends the same," which is is the same phrasing that Man in Black said to Jacob the very first time we saw them in the show. Interesting that, though Jacob is the one who stayed with Crazy Mama while No-Name left, it is No-Name who had more in common with her. Jacob never loses his faith and hope in people. It wasn't something instilled in him by his upbringing, so where does it come from? And Jacob knew. He knew that Crazy Mama loved MIB more and was going to choose him. "Why do you love him more than me?" Then later at the Light telling her that he knows that she wanted it to be MIB but she's giving it to him because he's all she now has. A man of duty though, he still accepted the responsibility. Was it all in Crazy Mama's (or something far beyond her) master plan? Did Jacob need to be humble?

The Light: When she first took them to the Light it felt very Garden of Eden-like, and young Jacob felt very much like Adam, innocent and childlike. Crazy Mama told them they had to make sure that no one finds the light- a little bit of the light is in every man but they always want more. Apparently they can't actually take it, but if they try it may go out and if it goes out here, it will go out everywhere. "What's down there?" "Light, death, rebirth... its the source, the heart of the island. If you go down there you will be worse than dead." MIB's new people are clever and innovative and have discovered pockets of magnetism around the island and have built the wheel to harness the Light and water. The bottle Mama used to give Jacob eternal life or to make him the keeper of the Light, or what you will, seemed to be the same bottle that he later used to describe to Richard that the island is like a cork keeping evil from spreading into the world. I used to think that the evil he meant was the literal entity of Smokey himself, but now we understand that it's Jacob's fault that that is the case- when he tossed little brother into the Light, he seemed to suck it all into himself. So I guess now they need to find a way to get it out of him and back into the island? The same thing in essence, but different than I first understood it. After he drank, she said, "now you and I are the same." They aren't though. Maybe in immortality and responsibility, but I don't know how much similarity I see beyond that. He is very much his own person.

Adam & Eve: So the cave our Losties went to in Season One is the home of Jacob's youth, and the skeletons they found are Crazy Mama and Man in Black. Why leave them there like that? It seems that it has been centuries at least, so one thing for humanity is apparently a shared respect of the dead since the bones haven't been disturbed with all the stragglers coming and going over the years. They seem to have kept nicely. Island thing, I guess.

Ooh, and here is a good recap to check out.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Geek Soda

Okay, so, I'm not a big sugary beverage person, and I am way to old to get excited about things like this, but the fantasy geek in me is DYING to try these new Dungeons & Dragons "Spellcasting" editions of Jones Soda. Aaah, the fun my brothers and I would have had with these as kids, as we were role-playing fantasy/action scenarios in the backyard. The six new flavors, aka, potions, are:

Potion of Healing
Sneak Attack
Illithid Brain Juice
Dwarven Draught
Bigby's Crushing Thirst Destroyer
Eldritch Blast

How fun is that?! Jones has done other Limited Editions in the past (holiday themed, sports themed, Hot Wheels, Punk Rock Bands...) but this is by far the coolest. Makes me want to don a cape and brandish a sword and conquer evil... er, you know, like, 20 years ago. Ahem.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

LOST S6: E14- 'The Candidate'

Nothing is LOST yet, nothing broken,
and yet the cold blue word is spoken:
say goodbye now to the Sun,
the days of love and leaves are done.
 
-R.P.T. Coffin

The Fallen: And then there were four (plus Claire). I found it difficult to feel too emotional when Sayid died for several reasons: 1- I've been suspecting all season that he would die as a martyr, it was a very abrupt scene and he didn't get much of a sendoff, he has been a Claimed bum for a while now, and I know we will see him alive still in the other timeline. That being said, it still stung  to hear Jack yell to Hurley, 'There is no Sayid!'  As for Sun and Jin, that definitely left me weepy. It was a fitting end for them though, finally together and finding a sense of peace about it all, and it was beautifully filmed. Nice to catch a glimpse of Jin taking flowers to Sun in the Sideways right after though. Also, too bad about Lapidus (at least I am presuming he died after getting slammed by that door and probably drowning if that didn't kill him.)

Kate: Widmore has a list with four names on it- Ford, Reyes, Kwon and he didn't say, but I presume the fourth is Shephard. (How did he receive this list? From Jacob before he died?) Kate is not on the list and her name was crossed off in the cave, but I swear 'Austen' was on the wheel in the Lighthouse and was not crossed off. Maybe that doesn't mean anything, maybe the lighthouse names just reflect who Jacob has been watching and not who he has discarded as Candidates, but I still feel like there is some kind of loophole that will be revealed as far as Kate is concerned. Poor thing, thinking she is unneeded and then getting shot my Widmore's folks, almost drowning and losing her friends... she seemed far more concerned for Jack than for Sawyer on the beach in the end. Sawyer was the one lying unconscious and yet it was Jack she fell into, crying 'I couldn't find you... I couldn't find you...'

Jack: Nice parallel that he referred to Locke a Candidate in the Sideways timeline though he no longer is in the Island time. Needing to find the answers and take care of everyone, as always, and discovering a lot of connections with the Oceanic flight in the process. A sweet offer to Claire in the end with the declaration that they are family. Also, in all of the Sideways flashes there has been a shot of someone looking in a mirror, but it was a little different this time because it was both Jack and Claire in the mirror of the music box at the same time. An interesting reaction from John when Jack was trying to convince him to do the surgery. I think he is saying no for more reasons than just guilt over his fathers circumstances, and when Jack said 'I can help you John, I wish you believed me,' he seemed to hesitate, not in a reconsidering way, but maybe in a deja vu way. On the Island, Jack keeps wanting people to trust him and thinks they can't get hurt, but keeps being wrong. First Juliet and now they have lost three more. Best line to put Jack in a nutshell, when John's fiancee asks him, 'why can't that be enough' and Jack responds, 'because its not.' Plain and simple. 

Different Circumstances, Same Outcome: It is interesting what we are discovering about the backgrounds of our Losties in the Sideways world. When we first saw them all in the premiere episode, once again on the Oceanic flight, it seemed that things were much the same with them except that they landed this time. As we are learning, their pasts are NOT the same, though they were still ed (by Fate?) to that same flight again. Sayid was an honest business man this time around, Sun and Jin were together though not married, Locke still ended up in a wheelchair but for different reasons, Jack was still going to pick up his father's body but he has a teenage son now... Kate is still on the run, but I think we will discover that she may be innocent of what she is accused of and it will be something different from blowing up her father. 

Who to Trust?: For one thing, I am confused about the Claimed, Claire and Sayid. Do they just have a difficult time thinking clearly unless a strong and personal emotion is brought out to knock some sense into them? For Claire, talking to Kate about going home to Aaron and for Sayid talking to Desmond about the kind of man Nadia would want him to be? With LockeNess, I think Jack is right that he 'needs them' to get off the island but he has simply been unclear about what he needs of them, that he needs them dead and as I've suspected, he can't kill them himself for some reason. If this is true though, then I am wrong in my theory that he can't straight out lie, since he was threatening Jack about killing him if he wanted to. Widmore- I am very confused about him. He has the list of remaining Candidates that he seems to want to protect, locked them up saying it was for their own good, he shoots at them at the boat, though granted, the only one that gets hit is Kate who he thinks is expendable... he isn't exactly great about making himself clear if he IS a good guy, and it does seem likely that LockeNess lied about Widmore setting up the bomb on the plane, but if LockeNess wanted to blow them up on the sub, why didn't he just do it on the plane and save some time? 

Those Absent from the Episode: Desmond- so he is still in the well, and Sayid acknowledged that 'Locke wants him dead, which means your going to need him." Then he tells Jack that he is telling him these things "because its going to be you Jack." It being the final Candidate? the new Jacob? Does Sayid know this for certain or is he just basing it, like I am, on the fact that Jack seems like likely one at this point. Maybe Desmond can answer that. And, I forget, what were Richard and Ben off doing again?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Vinni Pukh, aka, Winnie the Pooh

So its official. Winnie the Pooh is completely adorable in any language. Here is a Russian version to prove it. Though the graphics aren't any where near as good as the classic Disney version and he's more of a quirky adorable than a sentimental adorable. I'm not going to buy the DVD of this version or anything, but it sure makes me smile.