Thursday, February 19, 2009

Explaining LOST - This Place is Death

“This Place is Death”


First off, can we just all stop and look at how awesome that title is. When they announced the titles a few months ago, I was really excited for this one. So how does this start off? We see Sun sitting in the car watching people yell at Ben on the docks. Her phone rings and it’s her mom. Now I don’t know Korean, but I’m pretty sure she was saying “If you decide to randomly go back to a magical island and abandon your kid Ji Yeon, then you’re a bad mother.” Yet that is pretty much glossed over because Ji Yeon is just the cutest little thing.  Yet enough cute stuff, Sun’s gotta shoot somebody. Doesn’t care who, preferably Ben. Ben is reminding Kate that Aaron is still not her son; Kate’s confused. Jack is about to explain it to her but Sun’s gotta gun. The whole world’s come undone. Sun’s got a gun. She says “If it wasn’t for you, Jin would still be alive.” Considering she’s blamed everyone on that dock for Jin’s death at least once, it was a bit unclear on who she was talking to. That’s probably why Ben’s surprised that the gun is pointed at him. Ben has a great reason for not taking the blame: Jin’s still alive and he can prove it.

So can the show as we cut to Jin who’s in the 1980s on the island. Confused out of his mind. There’s a really cool pan shot as we see the French team and one of them listening to the radio signal that brought them there, a recording of the numbers. Yet that voice sounded really familiar….could that have been Hurley? Time travel is crazy. Anywho, Jin is trying to figure all of this out and he is smarter than Locke and realizes pretty fast that he has traveled through time. The Frenchies make fun of Jin but then decide to ask for his help to find the radio tower. Jin rather go find his camp, but decides to help find the radio tower first considering he doesn’t know how to get back to the camp. The actor who plays Jin this episode is great. We haven’t gotten to see the tough guy Jin for a while and you can really see his exhaustion as he treks through the jungle. Rousseau takes a breather as her baby kicks. There’s some cute dialog between her and her husband about guessing the sex of Alex. Then Jin swoops in and places a bet that it’s going to be a girl. Then Biff steals the Deloran and travels back in time to give his younger version an Almanac full of sports scores! I’m just kidding. Biff is killed by the smoke monster. Speak of the devil, Jin hears that crazy Smokey noises and knows there’s trouble.

So let me go off on a tangent real fast during this commercial break. I saw the movie Places in the Heart last weekend with Sally Field, Danny Glover, Ed Harris, and John Malkovich. It was really good, but it also had Terry O’Quinn in a small role. So I muttered “Heh, it’s Locke. LOST! I’m a nerd!” Yet then it got really eerie. There’s a couple scenes when everyone is picking cotton they play this noise to show how strenuous it is out there. Yet it’s the exact sound of the smoke monster. Tika, tika, tika, tika! For two minutes. It was rather unsettling. Then they did the scene again with the exact sound once more. Obviously Smokey doesn’t like cotton pickin’ either.

He also doesn’t like French people. Jin urges everyone to move, but the French people think they should to back and look for Nadine who’s gone missing. Jin obviously can’t stress “monster” enough. Then a tree gets ripped from the ground! Yet luckily they found Nadine…as she fell from the sky. Music gets awesome as they all start running through the jungle. Blonde Frenchie looks into the eye—eyes?—of Smokie and gets dragged by the feet into the jungle. They all start chasing him and one Frenchie grabs a hold of his arm as he is about to be dragged into this pit in front of a building. Much like a team building exercise, everyone is grabbing hold of this guy’s arm (Those who read my post last time know where this is going) and IT GETS RIPPED OFF! Now many people thought that was really violent for network TV. Was the squishy sound necessary? Yes. Yes it was. Don’t mess with the smoke monster. We hear Montand the One Armed Wonder call out from beyond the walls. In French he’s saying things like “It’s okay. It’s gone now.” Yet that’s stupid. He’s probably in the dark. It’s a smoke monster. It’s like being in a dark basement and saying “I think the shadow monster is gone now.” Yet the so called scientists can’t figure out that logic and decide to go into the mysterious pit. Jin convinces Rousseau to stay behind because she has a baby. Rousseau decides to help by arming her gun. What? It’s a smoke monster. Smoke. Monster. Yet that’s silly because we hear the noises for the flash. 

Jin is wondering what in the world is this madness as he flashes through time. The mysterious building looks exactly the same. There’s all of these hieroglyphs on the wall and oh yeah, there’s still an arm on the ground. No one even took the watch. Tisk, tisk. Jin decides to run through the jungle considering he’s insanely confused. He notices smoke off in the distance. (Good smoke this time). Someone made a fire on the beach. He find a little music box, which Sayid help fix back in Season One. He also sees two dead Frenchmen who have been shot. Yet who’s yelling in the distance. It’s Rousseau, again! She’s all upset because her husband is acting strange so she drew a gun on him. (Is this how marital squabbles are settled in France? Is their divorce rate down but their homicide rate high? Discuss.) She says that he’s not Robert, but he’s sick. The monster made him this way. Then he goes “It’s not a monster. It’s a security system guarding the temple.” Yeah like that’s going to make her feel better. But whoa! So it is a security system for the island, specifically the Temple, which we have heard about several times now. Back in Season Three when The Others were basically at war with the Oceanic survivors, Richard Albert took everyone besides Ben and Alex to the Temple. Also when Ben got word that the freighter people were on their way to the island, he sent Rousseau, Alex, and Karl to the Temple because he said it was safe there. That’s all we know about it. It’s not a Dharma station. Meanwhile Robert is saying sweet words to Rousseau, like I love you and the baby and all that jazz. Then he tries to shoot her, but it doesn’t fire. So Rousseau shoots him in the head. Back in Season One when she told Sayid part of the story of what happened to her, she mentioned to him that she took out his firing pin for his gun and shot him. Awesome. Then she sees Jin and since he disappeared, he must be sick too. Jin is having such a shity day. He runs through the jungle and then flashes in time again. And we wonder why Rousseau went insane.

The flashes seem much more violent and intense this time and they seem to be happening faster. Jin falls to the ground and gets up only to have another gun being pointed at him. But it’s Sawyer! Now some people have criticized this part, but I loved it. Sawyer and Jin get all giddy and hug each other. I thought that was great with both of their characters. These two really were friends throughout the season and Sawyer was convinced that he has lost everyone and he should be overjoyed to see that someone survived. After their manly reunion, Jin asks where Sun in and Sawyer looks sad.

Faraday fills in a plot hole by telling Miles that Jin must have been thrown off of the freighter by the blast and has been flashing while unconscious in the water. In a very enjoyable scene, Sawyer tries to explain time travel to a guy who barely speaks English. Jin gets understandably frustrated and walks over to Charlotte and asks her to translate since he learned that she spoke Korean last year. Sawyer figures Jin is talking about Miles and Miles responds awesomely that he’s from California. Then Charlotte explains that Jin wants to know how they are sure Sun is alive. Locke still won’t give any easy answers including a decent one for why Sun has to return.

Speaking of the spouse, Sun still has a gun on Ben back in 2008. Ben remains fantastically calm as she is wondering how he knows her husband is alive. Parallels! Ben says that a woman who can get everyone back to the island can prove that Jin is alive. Kate chimes in by saying that she doesn’t want to go back to the island and drives off with her non son. Sayid is tried of this drama and decides to bail. Before he goes he threatens to kill Jack or Ben if either of them approach him. Can we have Jason Bourne and Sayid just fight to the death? I would pay to see that. Anywho we are now down to two of the Oceanic 6. They are get into Ben’s van to see this lady for some answers.

Back on the island, they are trekking to the Orchid. Jin wants to go with Locke off the island but Locke says no. Charlotte is woozy. Faraday asks if she knows any other language. “Only Klingon.” Oh how Faraday’s geeky heart beats. He also mentions how it makes since that the Orchid will probably stop the flashes, but he doesn’t understand why the 6 have to go back. I find that really interesting because neither do I. I think that it has to do more about what is to come for the rest of the series concerning Jacob and…I have no idea what else. Yet Charlotte gets ghastly pale as the place flashes again and now they are in the dark. Charlotte is bleeding again and then it flashes again. She’s on the ground now looking paler than Conan O’Brien. Juliet and Sawyer also have nose bleeds. Charlotte starts speaking crazy Korean to Jin. Then she says “Don’t’ let them bring her back. This place is death!” I got chills just from writing that.

Meanwhile back in 2008, the best road trip since Easy Rider has been going on. Sun says “You said we’d be there in 30 minutes.” Ben replies, “I didn’t account for traffic.” Did I mention how much Ben is awesome? Jack decides this is the best time to apologize for leaving Jin behind. Sun wonders if this is just a way to convince her not to kill Ben if he’s lying. Jack says that if he’s lying he’ll kill Ben. Ben does the right thing and slams on the breaks and yells at Jack and Sun as if they were two kids misbehaving in the back of a van. I love Ben.

Back on the island, Charlotte is talking nonsense. She keeps saying stuff from what seems like her past like “I know more about Ancient Carthis than Hannibal, himself.” A history scholar I know on campus tells me that actually ties into theories of Atlantis. For the record, I don’t think that the island is Atlantis. Locke is bored and wants to keep moving and ditch Charlotte. Yet another flash occurs so everyone but Faraday and Charlotte start to head off. She says more madness like “I love Geronimo Jackson,” which is a band from the 70s that keeps coming up on this show. Seriously. It was one of the records Hurley found in the hatch and young Locke had it on his locker in junior high. Sawyer brings up a good point of asking Locke, what do they do if the Orchid isn’t built yet. Locke has no answer, but Charlotte does. She says “look for the well.” They have no other plan so they go with that.

They end up finding the Orchid in a possibly older state since the Season Four finale. Juliet says “Thank God. What are the odds that we would end up at the same time as this thing?” Then a flash occurs and the Orchid disappears which causes Sawyer to say, “You just had to say something.” Juliet blames herself. I blame Ana Lucia. Just because. Yet what do you know? There’s this old well a few feet from there. It’s surrounded by stone things and the well seems to go down a long way.

Meanwhile Charlotte still looks bad. Not like physically. I think she’s an attractive actress, but I mean like she looks bad. Like sick. Like really pale. Not that there’s anything wrong with pale. I’m just saying that… you know. Oh look she’s talking! She says that she’s been here before when there was the Dharma Initiative. She moved away with her mom and never saw her dad again. She said that her mom denied living on the island. Yet she remembers something from her childhood: a crazy man telling her to leave the island and never come back. That if she would come back, that she would die. Who was that masked man? She says it was Faraday. Time travel is fun. Now since his nose isn’t bleeding yet, that means he hasn’t been on the island as long as Sawyer, which means that, hasn’t happened yet. Just like the scene from the beginning of the season.

Locke says his goodbyes and starts to go down the well. Yet Jin says “No!” He doesn’t want him to bring Sun back. Locke promises that he won’t go see Sun to convince her to go back to the island. But if Sun finds him, Jin said to tell her that he is dead. He hands Locke his wedding ring as proof of his death. I do like Locke. He blows up a lot of stuff and is a wackjob, but ultimately he is a bit of a nice guy. He tries to do what’s right to the best of his ability and in that scene you can tell he really feels for Jin. So off he goes into the well to save Timmy who fell down there again. Yet sure enough when he’s midway down the well, a flash is about to occur. Yet here’s where it got interesting. The light came from the bottom of the well. Hmmm. Sawyer tries to grab the rope and Locke jumps and really hurts his leg. They all travel through time and Sawyer is left holding a rope that is just hanging from the ground. Sawyer is discouraged and they assume that Locke is stuck in the ground. Like Nicki and Paulo.

Meanwhile Faraday is talking to Charlotte. He thinks that his mother can help them, but Charlotte doesn’t make much conversation as she spits up blood and says “I’m not allowed to have chocolate before dinner.” Then she dies. The theme of life and death starts to wonderfully play as the camera zooms out showing Faraday crying. Powerful stuff even for a character I never really cared about that much.

Meanwhile Locke is in a lot of pain as something sharp has pierced him right through the leg. He’s in some underground tunnel thing. He calls for Sawyer, but no response. He’s all alone except….he’s not. A man walks up to him and it’s Christian Shepherd. Of course it is. Locke has seen him once before for that’s who told him to move the island in Jacob’s cabin. Christian said that Locke was supposed to move the island, not Ben. He seems to be very angry at Ben. He tells Locke to get all of his friends who left to come back. (This may include Desmond). He said there’s a woman in Los Angeles who will tell him how to get everyone back. Yep, it’s Eloise Hawking. He also confirms that Locke will have to die. Then he decides to be a jerk and not help him up. Now I get it. Yes, Locke has to sacrifice to do this. He will be difficult and he’s all alone. Yet he will still understand that if you help him over to the frozen donkey wheel. Christian Shepherd is a meanie. Speaking of, the frozen donkey wheel is off its axis. Looks like Ben slipped and broke it. It looks like that is what is causing the flashes for that mysterious yellow light is behind that wheel. Before Locke fixes the wheel, Christian Shepherd says “Say hello to my son.”  Yet of course Locke has no idea that Jack is Christian’s son, which he makes a point of saying. So Christian isn’t just some vessel for Jacob to communicate. It really is Christian Shepherd back to life. Mysterious.

Anywho, Jack, Ben and Sun finally arrive at the church. Ben reaches into his pocket and pulls of Jin’s wedding ring. He says that Locke gave it to him. Jack said “You said Locke never came to see you.” “That’s true Jack, I went to see him.” Ben is too awesome. See Ben could have given her the ring back at the dock, but he gets her to the church and basically tricks her into going back to the island AND ABANDONING HER CHILD. Speaking of abandoning their children, it’s Desmond! Now this is my favorite part of the episode. Desmond asks what they are all doing there. Ben tries to be all wise and say “I assume the same thing you are.” “You’re looking for Faraday’s mother too?” Then Ben just stares and then walks away implying that, nope that’s not what they’re doing exactly. They all walk in the church and there’s Ms. Hawking who’s Faraday’s mother! Wait, that wasn’t really shocking. In fact even my brother Brandon figured that out after the first episode. She’s a bit annoyed that Ben couldn’t get all of them, but apparently this will do…for now. Yet Desmond sells this scene because he remember her from Season Three when she was all creepy and wouldn’t sell him a wedding ring in the past. Yet all she says is “All right. Let’s get started.” I wish she would have said “Hello again, Desmond,” but alas.

So next week looks to be exciting. It’s odd because ABC switched up the episode order. Next week is called “316” and it’s written by the show’s executive producers, who typically only write premieres and finales or the occasional amazing episode. They wrote “The Constant” last years so I have big expectations for this next episode. What was supposed to air was an episode that I would imagine follows what happened to Locke once he got off the island, but for some reason they switched the order. I have a theory about why they did that but I won’t know until I see the episode. The way the timelines are working out it looks like Hurley will be getting out of jail next episode. It’s all tying together except Sayid is being troublesome. And murdersome. 

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