Monday, March 30, 2009

Explaining LOST - He's Our You

“He’s Our You”


Okay so let’s just start with the pre-show. Not for you, for me. I was called into work at the last second last Wednesday so I missed the show. Yet right at ten o’clock I get a call from my dad and a text from my friend. I had to literally lock myself in my dorm room to avoid talking about “this crazy ending.” I finally did find it online a few hours later and now I’m going to properly watch it in HD.

Previously on LOST we get a lot of Sayid scenes, which gives us a rather good hint on who this episode is about. We start in Tikrit Iraq which gives us another big hint. Some dude tells a kid to kill a chicken or he will be punished. The kid looks sad while carrying this giant (and rather clean) butcher’s knife. Then another kid comes by with some seeds and coaxes a chicken into his grasp. Then he breaks the chicken’s neck. I love shows I can watch with my whole family. Second kid offers the chicken to the first kid, but the first kid confesses to the dude. Of course the second kid is Sayid. This is pretty much the exact same flashback for Mr. Eko.

Back in 1977, Sayid is chilling in his cell while Ben is back with another sandwich and a book. The book is A Separate Reality. I haven’t read this book, but apparently it’s this trippy book dealing with reaching a higher plane and seeing reality in a different light. It also has a lot of passages dealing with the warrior’s way. Ben said that he read this twice. This helps explain why he’s all nutty in the future. Anywho, so Ben asks Sayid about Richard. Remember Sayid said that he’s a hostile and Ben really wants to join the Others because his father is a jerk. Yet Richard said that Ben must be patient before he can join them. So Ben is seeing Sayid presence as his ticket into the Others.

Back in the present some dude is running in Moscow. He’s nervous and hiding int a room. He runs to a safe and pulls out some cash. He offers it to Sayid who was the one chasing him. Yet alas, Sayid don’t want no moolah and shoots him. Then he walks out of the building because he’s awesome. He meets up with Ben who is wearing such a fantastic hat. Sayid asks who’s the next target and Ben says no one. They’re done. Sayid feels rather lost. He asks “What do I do now?”  

Back in 1977, Horace is there to visit Sayid. He has a cutting tool. Yet he uses them to break his handcuffs. Nice guy. Yet Sayid won’t talk to the nice guy. Radzinsky wants to know if Sayid saw the model for the Swan station (The Hatch). Yet Horace is more concerned if Sayid is in conflict with the Hostiles. He doesn’t know if Sayid is looking for solace or is a spy. Sayid has one hour.

Meanwhile Sawyer and Juliet are having a delicious looking breakfast. Yet Juliet is distracted by Jack and Kate. Who isn’t nowadays! Juliet fears that it’s all over. Their relationship, their nice lifestyle, all of it. Sawyer promises that he has it under control. I think it’s been taken for granted, but these two actors really pull of the relationship well. It’s amazing that they went from one episode as sorta friends to another where they have a three year history together. I’m buying it with their interactions. Yet Horace comes in to ruin a sweet moment. Still a nice guy though. Horace is worried why Sayid violated the mysterious Truce. He suggests they take him to Oldham. Sayid doesn’t like that idea so he goes to visit Sayid alone. He busts in there and then asks how he’s doing. Then Sayid gives the line of the night “A twelve year old Ben Linus just gave me a chicken salad sandwich. How do you think I’m doing?” Well put. Sayid asks how can he live with that kid. Sawyer says it’s quite easy. So he opens the cage and punches Sayid in the head. Wasn’t so nice, but Sawyer had good intentions. He wants it to look like he finally got some information out of him. Yet Sayid refuses to play this game and wants to be on his own.

Meanwhile Hurley is now a Dharma chef who in just a few days is already an expert in all of their food. Everybody loves Hurley. He gets Jack and Kate something to eat. Kate wants info about Sayid stat. Jack says he doesn’t know anything. Kate snaps that he was at Sawyer’s last night, so he must know something. Jack says nope. So Kate says that she’ll get something out of Juliet. Hurley’s confused. He says that Juliet and Sawyer are “together. Like not as roommates” Like Jack and Kate were. Somehow this slipped past Kate, who as we all know is a brilliant tracker for no apparent reason. Okay I no longer like Kate. Like at all at this point. I was good for several seasons. Even most of this one, but no longer. Why should they tell her anything? Does she not remember any season prior to this? She didn’t tell anyone anything. She kept all sorts of random secrets and when she did tell people it was under specific instructions not to do that. She’s such a bitch. Sorry Memaw. Meanwhile Jack is still cool. Also there’s a Geronimo Jackson poster in the background. Yep. Also right now there’s a free Geronimo Jackson song on iTunes entitled “Dharma Lady.” Yeah I have it.

Across the way, Sayid is still in prison. Yet Ben’s dad comes by to mop up. Yet of course he has to give his two cents. He’s shocked that Sayid got caught by these Dharma idiots. Then Ben comes by with another sandwich. He’s surprised to see his dad there so he says that he made the sandwich for him. He beats on Ben for a little bit. Ben leaves and then the dad throws the plate against the wall and leaves as well. Well that was stupid. You know in ten minutes he’s going to walk back in and has to clean up the mess he just made. Stupid Dharma janitor.

Back in the present, Sayid is in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. Sorry, not the Peace Corps. Something almost identical to the Peace Corps with a different name. Whatever he’s building something. Yet his Spider sense goes off and he notices that Ben is behind him. He’s here to tell Sayid that John Locke has been murdered. He forgot to mention that he killed him, but whatever. Ben says that everyone must be in danger again especially because there are people waiting outside Hurley’s mental institution. Sayid is a bit offended that Ben came all this way to suggest that he kills more people. Ben shrugs and gives a speech about it’s in his nature. “You’re a killer Sayid.” Sayid says that’s not true. So Ben leaves.

Back in 1977, Horace is back ready to take Sayid away. Sawyer whispers that he was one more chance. Alas, Sayid is silent so Sawyer is forced to taser him. Now I wish that Sayid just took it and didn’t fall to the ground, but that’s why I don’t write for the show. They go on a (Ooo ooo) Dharma bus ride to Oldham. Now it has come to my attention that some of you don’t know what the hell I’m doing with the (Ooo ooo)s before the phrase “Dharma bus.” It’s quite simple. I’m taking the song “Magic Bus” by The Who and replacing it with Dharma. Yes I think of that song whenever I see those buses. I’ve been doing this since Season Three. Anywho, Oldham is this creepy looking dude who is living inside of a teepee. Sayid asks who that man is. Sawyer responds, “He’s the co-host of Legends of the Hidden Temple.” No, of course he said “He’s our you.” What do you know! That’s the name of this episode! How about that? So they tie Sayid up to a tree and then they give him some LSD. Seriously. Oldham says this will make you tell the truth. This bothers Sawyer.

Back in 2008, everyone is on the dock just like a few episodes ago. We find out that Sayid went from the dock to the bar where he’s ordering another MacCutcheon. Uh oh. If I mentioned the drink by name that means it probably has been on the show before. Bravo readers. Yes this drink is Widmore’s favorite drink. In fact he gives a long monlogue about it to Desmond back in Season Three saying that Desmond shouldn’t drink a drop of it because it would be a waste. For Desmond is a coward or something. So it has come up a few times now. This is what Desmond, Hurley, and Charlie drank when they all got drunk on the beach one episode. Anywho, Ilana shows up. She flirts with him a little bit and then Sayid does the classy move of asking if she’s a prostitute. How does this guy end up with so many women? Sure most of them end up dead or trying to kill him, but who doesn’t have that problem?

Back at Oldham’s, Sayid is tripping. Oldham asks him a series of questions and Sayid answers them truthfully. He says he’s not a hostile. He says he came on Ajira flight 316. He says he was on the island for 100 days and then he left. Oldham thinks that stuff is silly so he asks about their Dharma stations. So he rattles off all of the ones he knows: the Flame, the Pearl, and the Swan. Now he says the Swan was to study electromagnetism before the Incident. Now we know very little about this mysterious incident. We know something bad happened at the Swan and this is why people had to push that button every 108 minutes. That is all we know about it. I think it’s very good odds we’re learn more about it this season. Like really good odds. Like 100%. Anywho, Radzinsky gets all nutty and says that Sayid must be a spy. How did he know what they were going to name it? Blah blah blah. Radzinsky reminds me of Ned from Groundhogs Day. Bing! Sayid then says in a creepy tone that they all are going to die. He knows this because he’s from the future. Then he creepily laughs. Apparently this was the first time Sayid has laughed since the very first episode.

Meanwhile Juliet is showing Kate the ropes at the Dharma car shop. Kate looks annoyed. So they have a very very awkward scene. Luckily Sawyer comes back with Sayid. Sawyer sees Juliet and Kate together and does the smart thing, which was to get the hell out of there. So the rest of Dharma security has a meeting to decide what to do with Sayid. Needlenose Radzinsky says that they have to kill him. Sawyer says pa-shaw. Radzinsky blabbers for a bit more before saying that if they don’t decide quickly he’s calling Ann Arbor. What? A specific place? Yes it connects to this insanely awesome mythology. Ann Arbor is where the DeGroots are from. The DeGroots are the founders of Dharma. We have never seen them. Then Michelle Dressler comes in with her baby. She gives this mini-speech about how she doesn’t feel safe and how they need to protect the children for they are the future. So they all vote to kill Sayid. Sawyer votes nay, but Horace asks nicely for it to be unanimous. Sawyer changes his mind because Horace is such a nice guy.

Yet back in the present in a flashback…man that’s confusing. Whatever, Sayid is getting it on with Ilana. Then she kicks him in the face and beats him and then points a gun at him. Sayid takes a second to wonder if this is some weird sex thing for her, but then realizes that it’s not. Turns out she’s a bounty hunter hired from the family of the guy Sayid killed on a golf course last year. So she’s taking him to Guam. Why Guam? No clue. I’m sure Ben’s behind all of this.

Back in 1977, Sawyer offers Sayid a free hit in the face. He wants Sayid to get out of here because he still doesn’t want him dead. Sayid still won’t play Sawyer’s game. So he just chills in the cage. Sawyer goes over to Kate’s house because he obviously wants some more hostility. He asks her a very simple and direct question of “Why did you come back to the island?” I repeat: IT’S VERY SIMPLE AND DIRECT. So how can Kate get out of answering this one? Sure she can stall, but stall until what? HOW ABOUT AN (OOO OOO) DHARMA BUS ON FIRE DRIVING THROUGH THE TOWN? Touché Kate. Touché. Sawyer and the rest of humanity is confused about this. Yet Sawyer is a good leader and apparently Dharma has water hoses all over the place. Seriously they have like five separate ones within a few feet. So Sawyer, Jack and everybody plays firefighters. So then Phil decides to stop guarding Sayid and go help with the fire. Stupid Phil. This gives young Ben plenty of time to bust Sayid out of jail. Sayid says he’ll take Ben to the hostiles, because that’s why he’s here.

Back in 2008, Sayid is getting on Ajira flight 316. He is getting a bit paranoid because there’s Jack and Hurley and Kate. He begs for the next plane, but Ilana says no. At least she didn’t kick him in the face for asking. Then he sees Ben getting on the plane and now he’s super pissed. He asks if Ilana is working for Benjamin Linus. She seems genuine about not knowing who that is.

Speaking of that awesome devil, young Ben lets Sayid go in 1977. They go running through the woods kinda like Cool Hand Luke, except cooler. Ben trips because it’s the cliché thing to do. Then an (Ooo ooo) Dharma bus drives by and it’s Jin on patrol. He’s confused on to why Sayid is out of his cell. Sayid says Sawyer let him out, so Jin wants to double check that. Sayid doesn’t like double checking so he knocks out Jin. Then Sayid takes Jin’s gun and…we all know what happens now. He shoots young Ben in the chest. Young Ben falls face first into the mud while Sayid runs away.


Now let’s breathe everybody. I want you to say this next part aloud: “Ben is not dead.” Seriously he’s not. Yes I think he’s one of the greatest characters on television, but he’s not dead. Why isn’t he? Because that’s not how time travel works on this show. Whatever happened, happened. (Hey that’s the title of next week’s episode!) None of them can change anything because they were always part of what made the present events. Sayid always shot Ben back in 1977. That is probably the major thing that made Ben such an evil-ish character. He is so happy that he can finally join the Hostiles, but is then shot by one of them. Now there are two scenarios that can happen. One, Ben gets resurrected a la Christian Shepherd or John Locke. Then there’s another option, one that I’m leaning towards. He’s in critical condition and will be taken back to Dharmaland. Then Jack or Juliet will operate on him and by doing so will blow their cover. We’ll find out this week on a…Kate episode. Expect lots of spiteful humor next week. They better have a really good explanation for Aaron. Really really good one.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Review: Fault Line

I might as well say it up front: Barry Eisler is the man. His John Rain books have been escalating with popularity so it was a bit risky to now write a stand-alone. Yet Fault Line still delivers on many the aspects I like in his previous novels.  The story isn’t entirely groundbreaking, but still intriguing. An inventor in Silicon Valley has been killed and the only other one who knows about his new product is a lawyer named Alex Treven. Out of desperation he calls upon his estranged soldier brother, Ben. Together with another lawyer Sarah Hosseini they investigate this conspiracy.

Yet the novel still feels rather fresh because of what Eisler brings to it. The best parts of the novel are the interactions between these characters and how they differ emotionally and politically. There are very well established and never seems like Eisler is preaching his own opinion. They're no Rain/Delilah/Dox yet but I'm looking forward to another story with these three. As for this one the plot is tight and fast paced with very well written action scenes. Truly can’t go wrong with this thriller. 

Explaining LOST - Namaste



Okay let’s get this right off the bat. I accidently lied last entry. I was told this would be a Ben entry, but this isn’t. In fact this wasn’t centric on any of the characters, but it was still a very good episode. We open on Ajira Airways flight 316 still in the air. We see the Oceanic 5/6th unable to really enjoy the flight. The co-pilot jokes around with Lapidus noting that Hurley must have nerves of steel, since he recognized him as an Oceanic 6. Then the plane starts a’rumblin’ and a’tumbling. Then that yellow light appears and it has some of the people vanish. Yet the plane now goes from darkness to daylight. Also they are about to crash into an island! And its inhabited by dinosaurs! Okay I made up that last bit, but it’s the same level of drama. The co-pilot recognizes there’s a runway. (One that Kate and Sawyer actually built in Season Three. How did they know this plane would land? No freakin’ idea.) The plane uses the runway but still didn’t make a perfect landing as it hit some trees and killed the co-pilot. The two new characters awake and Sun is there too. Lapidus and Sun are concerned that the rest of our familiar characters have vanished. Ben just seems impressed.

Thanks to a nice title card we are now thirty years earlier as those lovable characters get out of the (Ooo ooo) Dharma Bus. Sawyer is still in awe of seeing them all. Hurley is thrilled that Sawyer and gives him a big bear hug and even comments on missing the nicknames. Jack and Sawyer basically give each other a head nod and Sawyer gives Kate a hug too. Sawyer asks about Locke and is very sad to hear that. He reasonably asks how it happened and Jack instantly remembers how this show works and says that isn’t important right now. Apparently Jin didn’t tell them that they have time traveled. They missed a lot when they left the island.

After a brief commercial break they still don’t time travel. In their defense it makes more sense when Faraday explains it than Sawyer. Jin says they have to get a move on and Hurley digs that Jin’s English is so good. Jack says we can’t move yet since we have a whole plane’s worth of people like Lapidus, Sayid and…Sun. Once Jin hears that name he runs into a Dharma Jeep to go find her. Oh Jin and the love of his life.

Meanwhile Juliet is wondering what’s going on. She goes and talks to Miles with his many TVs. On them she sees something interesting. Cut to Juliet meeting up with Sawyer back at their house. He tells her who’s back and she’s very surprised. Who wouldn’t be? Okay Jack Bauer. And probably Don Draper. Sorry let’s focus back on people who are actually real. Juliet mentions there’s a new sub arriving on the island. That’s how new Dharma people arrive on the island and that is actually how Juliet was brought to the island by Ben and Richard. Locke of course blew up the sub back in Season Three because he thought they were playing Battleship. He was very disappointed to hear everyone lost.

While this is going on Jin knocks on the door of a man named Radinski. Now we actually know this name. Okay I know this name. Back when Desmond was pushing that button in the hatch for years he had a guy in there with him. He said was left all alone because his partner had killed himself. That man was Radinski. So it was eerie to see him working on a model of the hatch to start building on it. It was like he was building his inevitable tombstone. Yet Jin has no time for arts and crafts as he runs to look at computer print-outs. Radinski is being a dick and won’t help. He says there’s no way a plane landed here without him knowing. After being pushed around by Jin he checks the other stations. Alas, no plane.

Back in 2008, Sun is holding her wedding ring on the beach. They recently landed…okay sorta landed and it’s daylight. Lapidus directs a group on the beach with a really cool crane shot. (Sorry I’m a TCOM major.) He offers some hope saying that help would arrive. New Character Caesar says that we should search some of the houses in the area.  Sun is bored by Caesar and notices that Ben is leaving. Lapidus is bored by Caesar and notices that Sun is leaving. The show is bored by Caesar so we follow everyone. Ben isn’t stupid and asks Sun why she’s following him. She doesn’t answer but Ben says that he’s going back to their island.

Back in 1977, Juliet walks over to Michelle Dressler who is sleeping on a hammock with her new baby. Michelle Dressler says that two people on the sub dropped out at the last minute and gives Juliet the records to give to Pierre Chang. Well that was easy. Juliet holds the baby who looks nothing like Baby Aaron and asks about the name of the child. Michelle Dressler says that baby is named Ethan. Whoa, Ethan? Ethan Rom the evil Other who kidnapped Claire back in Season One and was shot to death by Charlie in anger? That’s nice. 

Meanwhile Jack, Kate, and Hurley are just chilling. They all seems rather lost about what to do now that they are here. Sawyer brings by a Dharma van and some clothes for them. Jack tries to slyly take control, but Sawyer knows what he’s doing. They all get in the bus while Jin is still looking for the plane. Yet they find something else. A motion sensor alarm was tripped nearby. It must be a hostile right? Right? Nah, it’s just Sayid who is actually overjoyed to see Jin. Yet since Radinski is nearby Jin has to point a gun at Sayid. This is the worst case of peer pressure.

Meanwhile the (Ooo ooo) Dharma Bus is driving and Hurley is still trying to figure all of this out. Good luck, dude. He should read my blog. Oh yeah no internet in 1977. Details. Hurley asks if Sawyer has warned them about the Purge. Quick recap, the Purge is when the Others used poison gas and killed all of Dharma. Now we know that Ben was much older when it happened so it probably happened in the late 80s or early 90s so it’s not happening soon. We also don’t know exactly who ordered the Purge. Yet Sawyer says that he’s not here to play Nostradamus to these people and he vaguely mentions that Faraday said they couldn’t change the future. Jack smiles and says “Faraday? He’s here?” Sawyer growls and responds “Not anymore.” Now here’s my theory about this. It’s always fun to put these in print for when they’re proven wrong we can all look back on them. Now we saw Faraday work at the Orchid station in the season opener. What if he got it to work and now he’s in 2008 working on getting everyone else back to the future. Great scots!

The (Ooo ooo) Dharma bus arrives in town and our heroes really get to be confused by the 70s. Sawyer says to just play along and go through the process. Hurley starts to freak and wonders what will happen if they get questions they can’t answer. Like who’s President in 1977. By the way, it’s Jimmy Carter. You’re welcome. Then Miles shows up and gets a little star struck by our heroes returning. He also has news that Jin found a “hostile.” Jin whispers that it’s Sayid and Sawyer starts to make his way over there.

Back in 2008, Sun is following Ben. Sun is complaining about a lot of stuff. “Wait! Why are you going this way? Waaaaa!” Lapidus catches up and wonders why Sun is following Ben. She simply says she’s getting a boat to the main island. Lapidus says can you trust him. Sun says she has to trust him. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Yes he lies a lot but he’s going to a boat. You were following him to a boat. He doesn’t care if you follow him. What’s the worst-case scenario? “How dare you Ben! You didn’t take us to a boat! You took us to shelter with food!” Idiots. Guess what Ben took them to the long boats. Big shocker. Then Sun decides to knock out Ben with an oar. That makes sense. It’s not like he knows the island and knows where to find food and supplies and a way to find Jin. Idiots.

Back in 1977, Jack and Kate are watching a Dharma video that isn’t in bad quality for once. Jack’s name is called and he sits down with Pierre Chang, the man from the video. Jack is having déjà vu and even seems to be enjoying it. Chang announces to Jack that his aptitude test says that he will be doing janitorial work. Good ole Sawyer. Kate is getting nervous that her name hasn’t been called yet. Then Juliet rushes in and calls Kate’s name. Remember when Kate and Juliet had a cat fight in the mud? That was an awesome episode. There’s still tension among them.

Sawyer drives up and meets up with Jin, Radisnki, and Sayid. Radinski is getting paranoid and wants to shoot Sayid. Obviously Sawyer disagrees. Sayid comes out of the closet—stop giggling—and sees Sawyer for the first time. Here is where the dialog is top notch where Sawyer has to get Sayid to say the right things in front of Radinski. They end up being able to take Sayid away.

Back in 2008, Lapidus and Sun take the long boat to the main island. Remember a few episodes back when Caesar said the pilot left on a boat with some woman? Lovely how it all works out. They get to the island and they hear a lot of rumbling in the jungle. It sounded like Smokey but we didn’t see anything. They find a house that looks like it’s been beat up rather badly. For the first time in a while we hear the whispers around them. Then a house lights up. The door opens and it’s the resident creeper Christian Shepherd. At this point I think everyone has seen this guy but Jack. Funny how that works out. Christian leads them into a house and it looks destroyed from the inside. Christian takes a picture off the wall of the Dharma Initiative 1977 and sure enough there they are. He says that she has a long journey ahead of her. 

We cut to them actually taking that picture. Sawyer arrives back in town with Sayid and takes him to a holding cell, which I guess is kinda appropriate considering he was being arrested on the plane. Sawyer has a great look to him showing that he doesn’t want him to be in there. Later that night Jack is asking where to find LeFleur. He finds the house and Juliet opens the door. There are nervous smiles exchanged and then a hug. Then he finds Sawyer sitting on a chair reading a book. Now it’s the best scene in the episode where we have some really tense dialog. Sawyer is content with Sayid being safe. Jack then asks where do we go from here and Sawyer says he’s working on it. Jack decides to be a smartass and says, “It looks like you’re reading a book.” Sawyer one-ups him really fast by saying that Winston Churchill read a book every night during the war because it helped him think. Then Sawyer says that is what Jack didn’t do. He didn’t think and just reacted which caused a lot of people to die. So he’s going to go back and read his book. All Jack has to do is to go back and get a good night sleep. Sarcastically Sawyer asks if that is a relief. Jack smiles and you know it really is. Then Sawyer sees Kate being annoying and they have a quick glance. The show ends with a kid giving Sayid a sandwich. Sayid is grateful and asks who he is. Then we all learn it’s…HARRY POTTER! No it’s Ben, which is actually much cooler. 


See I like that moment because I remember Season Two. When they first met Ben they threw him into the hatch and imprisoned him and tortured him. They thought he was an Other. (They were right.) Yet here we have a reverse scenario and Ben is giving Sayid food and even being nice to him. Just a nice little touch. This whole episode was full of those. It seemed to work as a nice set-up by getting all of the characters in place. As always I’m excited to see where the show goes with this especially with them now showing two younger versions of established villains. I hope we see our characters trying to stop them at a young age. I want more of those scenes where we have characters try to change the future and fail. It’s amusing especially when they hinted that Desmond might be allowed to change the future. Let’s hope he comes back into the story soon.  Probably not next week since it is absolutely-no-way-I’m-accidently-lying-about-it going to be about Sayid. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Review: Fool

Christopher Moore has quickly become one of those writers where no matter what he writes; I’m going to read it. He’s established himself as a funny guy, that’s undeniable. I’m reading him because he’s clever. Don’t believe me, check his canon. I don’t have time to get into them in this review. (EDITOR’S NOTE: What are you talking about? This is your own blog.) In his latest book, Fool, he does a humorous retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear from the telling of a fool.

Now wait a tic. This sounds A LOT like Alan Gordon’s phenomenal series starting with Thirteenth Night, where the audience follows the fool from Twelfth Night as he solves a mystery. So I was very hesitant going into Fool because of that odd unintentional (?) similarity. Yet luckily Moore is a good enough author to make his book still stand on its own. This ended up playing more like A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum than Gordon’s work. Moore does a great job with playing around with a lot of Shakespeare conventions, especially his jabs at the prophetic witches. Ultimately this novel ended up being one of Moore’s best structured novels and easily among his funniest. I hope he revisits this time period soon.

Review: Revenge of the Spellmans

The third entry in Lisa Lutz's series is entitled Revenge of the Spellmans. (Best first sentence in a review everz!) This is a follow up to Curse of the Spellmans. Look at those words “revenge” and “curse.” It is not “return” or “triumph” of the Spellmans. That’s not how they operate. This is a family of private detectives (and ex-PIs) who betray, spy, distrust each other, but ultimately love each other. It’s obvious from the popularity of the series that I’m not alone in enjoying the dysfunction of the Spellmans. Yet the books can’t survive on their hilarity alone.

Revenge works in that regard for Isabel Spellman, the slacker protagonist, is bogged down with mandatory therapy sessions (with two different shrinks), being blackmailed, attempting to uncover her brother’s secret, avoiding reentering the family business and attempting to control her destructive younger sister Rae. (Best run-on sentence in a review everz!) This whole series is a lot of fun and one element I always enjoy is that Isabel seems to focus one on TV show or a set of movies. In previous books she watched a lot of Get Smart and Doctor Who. This entry she talked about the classic Pink Panther movies. Further proof Lisa Lutz may be writing this series with me in mind. Thanks again Lisa.  

Monday, March 16, 2009

Review: The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death

I don’t know Charlie Huston. This is actually my first book I’ve read by Charlie Huston. So this may be a bold guess on my part, but I think the ideal review in his mind would be “This book was truly awesome.” Take a look at just the title: The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death. Take a glance at a piece of dialog: “And don’t do that, it’ll get infected and your nipple will fall off and the rich, shallow and handsome afterbirth you’re destined to marry will reject you and you’ll end up a crack whore.” What Huston has done here is created a truly awesome book.

We follow horror fan Web Goodhue as he starts his disgusting new job at a crime scene clean-up crew. The mystery begins when the daughter of one of his first “clients” needs someone to clean up a bloody mess. This of course leads down a path of confusion and mayhem, but it’s all worth it because Web is a fun slacker to follow. In fact all of the characters bounce off each other really well. The best example of this is Web and his scholarly father. They have a fantastic conversation about the books they each read and their views on them. The only problem I had with this book was its really annoying writing style. Not in the way he wrote or phrased things, it was how it was literally typed. The dialog isn’t written with quotation marks but with an – mark almost in the margins. I was hoping that I would get used to it as the book went on but it just kept drawing me out of the story, which was way too bad.

Explaining LOST - LaFleur



Yeah so I had a whole extra week to write this puppy and I’m still doing it days before the new episode. Why do I keep doing this? Some say laziness. Actually most say laziness. I know I say laziness so I’m just guessing that everyone else would follow suit in some way or another. Whatever, let’s just get into this week’s episode. Okay last week’s episode. Two weeks ago. Shut up!

So previously on LOST we had a bunch of stuff happen to Faraday and friends over the past couple of episodes. The montage ends with Sawyer holding the rope and then the episode begins from within the scene! Yes I love it when they do this. They did this during the Season Four finale rather brilliantly by starting that episode at LAX right after Jack and his crazy beard yell “We have to go back!” So this episode begins with Sawyer holding the rope sticking out of the ground and Juliet saying that whenever they are is before the well even exists. Miles thinks that’s a pretty good guess because there’s THE BACK OF A GIANT STATUE THAT ONE COULD APPROPIATELY ASSUME ONLY HAS FOUR TOES. And then other stuff happened in the episode. Let’s focus on what’s important for right now.

For those of you who are confused right now, the four toed statue was only seen one other time. Back in the awesome Season Two finale, Sayid, Jin and Sun are taking a boat ride around the island to ambush the Others. During this ride they see a giant foot and Sayid gets to say the brilliant line: “I don’t know what I find more disquieting: the fact that the rest of the statue is missing, or that it has four toes.” Since that day almost three years ago, one of the biggest mysteries of the show is this crazy four toed statue. Now we’ve seen a good 50% of this sucker. The back. Now as you can tell from that photo, it looks rather Egyptian. A lot of people say that it looks like the Egyptian god Anubis, the jackal-headed god that’s associated with mummification and the afterlife. (Thanks Wikipedia!) It also looks like from behind our mysterious statue could be holding an ankh, just like in the picture below. (The cross looking thing). I’m sure you’re all wondering what Wikipedia says an ankh is so I’ll tell you. It’s this hieroglyphic that represents eternal life. This will come into play later, but perhaps this explains why Richard Albert doesn’t age?

Okay fine, let’s talk about the rest of the episode. As our characters stare in confusion at that statue (like the rest of us), Locke goes ahead and turns that donkey wheel which means one more flash to end all flashes. Good bye four toed state. I’ll miss you. Our characters remark about how that flash felt different, more powerful. The well is back but it’s been filled up. The characters start realizing that their noses aren’t bleeding and they don’t have any more headaches. So now what do they do? Sawyer says they gotta wait for Locke to come back for as long as it takes.

Cut to this cold title card of “Three years later.” A Dharma guy is dancing with this pretty chick when another Dharma dude, named Phil, comes in. Dharma dudes argue while pretty chick notices on one of the TVs that Horace is outside throwing dynamite blowing up trees. They decide that they got to get LaFleur because he’ll know what to do. They run to a house inside the barracks and ask for LaFleur who turns out to be Sawyer. Sawyer grabs a Dharma jumpsuit that says LaFleur: Head of Security on it.

Now we have met Horace a few times now. Twice actually. When Ben was a young boy and he was brought to the island with his father it was Horace to befriended them. When the mysterious Purge occurred that killed all of Dharma, Ben went up to Horace’s body and closed his eyes. It seemed like he was saddened by that loss. Also last season when Locke and Ben were looking for Jacob’s cabin, Locke had a weird dream involving Horace where he kept cutting down a tree over and over again. Now today he’s blowing up trees. He hates trees.

So Sawyer and Miles get into the Dharma bus and they act like they’ve done this sorta thing for quite a while. They call Horace their fearless leader and Sawyer takes their leader’s drunken butt back to his house. There we see Michelle Dressler from 24 fame. Sure her real name is Reiko Aylesworth and sure she’s called Amy on this show, but I still see her as Michelle Dressler. She’s all sorts of pregnant. She says that Horace got drunk because of Paul. Yet before she can get into that inevitably awkward story, she goes into labor. ANOTHER BIRTH ON THIS SHOW!

Yet we flashback (not literally) three years prior. They find Faraday sitting alone and talking very crazy. He’s muttering that he won’t tell her, referring to the fact that before Charlotte died she remembers a crazy man telling her not to come back to the island. A crazy man that looks like Faraday. So Faraday is starting to lose it and he says that whenever they are now, they are there for good. Concerning to say the least. Yet Sawyer says that they need to go back to the beach. Miles brings up the fact that is a stupid idea, but Juliet backs up Sawyer. So off they go to the beach…again. Okay at least Frodo had one destination in mind. We’re going to Mordor to destroy this ring. Sure they got sidetracked, but during the whole journey he’s just trying to get to this giant volcano. With LOST, it was “Hey let’s get off the island!” and then it was “Hey let’s get back on the island.” Even when they’re on the island they can’t pick a place to stay put at. These are antsy people.

Meanwhile, Juliet reminds Sawyer that it’s a stupid plan but they hear gunshot. Not an uncommon sound on this island. They mosey on over to a field where there’s a guy dead on the ground and two men surrounding a lady. One of them puts a bag over her head. Sawyer wants to intervene, but Miles says they shouldn’t because they don’t know when they are. Faraday simply says “It doesn’t matter. Whatever happened, happened.” Sawyer takes that as a sign to head on over there. A guy tries to shoot Sawyer, but Juliet shoots him first. Then Sawyer kills the other dude. They take the bag off of the woman and it’s Michelle Dressler. She’s obviously confused, but she’ll get used to it if she wants to stay on the show.

She’s crying over the dead body, but the real haunting shot is Faraday looking at the two of them as sad as she is. They figure out they are probably in the 70s due to the Dharma symbols. Michelle Dressler asks who they are and Sawyer thinks of a lie and thinks it up quick. He says their boat crashed on the way to Tahiti. Not bad. Michelle Dressler buys it but then panics. She insists that they bury the two hostiles. It seems really important because of some Truce. She also says they have to bring Paul back home, who turns out to be her husband. Now it seems like they are setting up certain rules about death on this show. More on this later. So they bury the two dudes and Jin caries dead Paul.

They keep on walking and they encounter one of my favorite parts of the island: KILLER STONEHEDGE! You may be asking, “Austin what is that? That sounds like an awesome band name. Can I use that?” This thing is the sonic fence that guards the barracks where Dharma lived/lives and the Others will one day live. Also no you can’t use that. Unless I get a significant portion of your profits. So Juliet screams to Michelle Dressler to turn it off. She says it looks like a sonic fence or something. Yeah good lying there, chief. Michelle Dressler starts to doubt these people so she presses some button and grabs something out of the box. She walks through jus t fine. Yet the rest walk through and pass out. Oh Michelle Dressler had ear plugs in. Bitch.

Three years later, she is screaming that having a baby is painful. I don’t sympathize for her at the moment. She made Faraday have a headache. So Sawyer/LaFleur is off to find Juliet because Michelle Dressler’s baby is currently upside down. Okay starting to sympathize. Apparently all of the other Dharma babies have been delivered on the main land, but this baby is early. Yet Juliet is working as a mechanic. A hot mechanic. What? Anywho, Juliet starts to panic because she has a terrible average of delivering babies on this island. Sawyer hopes that whatever has made it so no babies can be born hasn’t happened yet. Yeah what is up with that? So Juliet becomes Dr. Juliet and says a lot of medical things really fast. Like an anxious father-to-be, Sawyer is pacing outside. Jin visits him in his Dharma jumpsuit and he is speaking really good English. Only took him three years. He says he scanned another area of the island and still no sign of their people. He wonders how long he has to keep looking. Sawyer started looking for a way to avoid that direct question and luckily Juliet comes out of the house ecstatic that the baby survived and it’s a boy. Happy moment on LOST!

Three years prior, Sawyer wakes up on a couch and Horace wants to chat. Sawyer says his name is Jim LaFleur, the boat captain. He starts spinning a tale about how he and his buddies were searching for this famous lost wreckage. “A slaver” called The Black Rock. So freakin’ awesome. First off, good idea for a lie. Second off, I approve of any instance to mention the Black Rock. (For all of you who are confused, this is the giant slaving ship that is in the middle of the island that has all the dynamite that has been used. That’s also where Sawyer killed Locke’s dad. We’ve also seen Widmore off island buying the journal of the Black Rock at an auction.) Horace believes the story or enough of it. He says that he will send Sawyer and friends back home first thing in the morning on their submarine. Sawyer asks for time to look for the rest of his people and Horace says “You are not Dharma material.” Wanna bet?

While Sawyer talks the rest of them chat about how doomed they are. Juliet talks about how she used to live in this area. Faraday sees a much younger Charlotte and in a very non-pedophile way has this moment of happiness when he sees her. That means he absolutely went up to her and told her not to come back to the island. For that makes sense with these rules of time travel. There was never a time when Faraday told Charlotte not to come back and he didn’t know he had said that previously. Sawyer comes back and informs them that they are being shipped off to Tahiti. Yet sirens start a’blazing and everyone runs inside. Our heroes look out the window to see a guy with a torch walk up in the field. He sticks it powerfully into the ground and it turns out to be Richard Albert. Sawyer appropriately says “Uh oh.”

So Horace walks out to talk to Richard Albert to ask him some serious questions. Like does he wear eyeliner. (The answer is no, actually!) Horace says that if he knew Richard was coming he would have turned the fence off. Richard says that fence may keep other things out, but not us. (Note: Killer Stonehedge blocks out the smoke monster. Yet apparently not Richard. Who the hell is this guy?) Richard says that Horace has broken the Truce. They start yelling and we can’t hear them. Horace runs back and asks how well he buried the bodies. Sawyer says well enough but Horace still freaks out and tells everyone to be ready and put the fence up on maximum. Sawyer decides he’s too cool for this stress so he goes and talks to Richard. Is that a good idea? Who cares, it’s time for more info from Richard! So Sawyer goes out there and says I’m the dude who killed your dudes. (Okay with slightly better writing. Slightly.) Richard is really surprised to hear that Sawyer is not part of Dharma. Then Sawyer asks Richard buried the bomb, Jughead. That got him listening. Richard still demands some sort of justice for his men being dead so he requests Paul’s body. Paul’s body is currently lying up on a table and Michelle Dressler seemed really upset to see it go. Was she expecting it to wake up? No sarcasm, actually. She says goodbye to Paul’s body and then takes something off his person. What is it? It’s a motherfrakin’ ankh. Boom shakka lakka.

Horace talks to Sawyer and says the sub won’t be back for two weeks. He can use that time to search for their people. He goes to tell Juliet the good news on the dock. Juliet can’t think of a reason to stay on the island for two weeks. She has been trying to get off his rock for three years now. She wants off. Yet Sawyer wants her to stay. “You really going to leave me here with the mad scientist, Mr. I Speak to Dead People and Jin, who’s a hell of a nice guy but not exactly a conversationalist.” Yet he really wants someone to have his back. He just wants two weeks. Yet we all know what’s coming….

The title card that reads Three Years Later. Sawyer seems happy walking around Dharma town. He picks up a flower and takes it home to…Juliet who’s cooking him a meal. They hug and kiss and declare their love. Now here’s a relationship I can actually get behind. Desmond and Penny are all happy now unless Penny’s dead. Faraday and Charlotte died off. Rose and Bernard are literally forgotten. Where the hell are they? As for Kate, just no. She’s annoying with everyone.

So Sawyer is hanging out with Horace who is finally awaking from a drunken night. Sawyer tells him that he’s now a daddy but he missed it. He’s happy and sad at the sad time. He tells Sawyer why he got drunk and explosive. He found Paul’s ankh in Amy’s sock drawer. He wonders if three years is really long enough to get over someone. Obviously this conversation is really about Sawyer and Kate so his reply will be very interesting. Sawyer tells his story about Kate. He says that now he can barely remember what she looks like. She’s gone and never coming back. Never ever ever. Never ever EVER. So Sawyer votes that it’s absolutely long enough to get over someone. Yet I love the juxtaposition with this scene. He gives that speech while wearing a jumpsuit that says LaFleur on it. So was he lying?

We’ll soon find out because he gets a phone call the next day from Jin. He gets out of bed with Juliet—idiot—to go investigate. He takes a Dharma Jeep out to the beach and there’s the Dharma bus. Out comes Hurley, Jack who gives a great half smile, and of course Kate. Where Sawyer gives a look that we had a week or so to interpret. 


So great episode that was a good focus on Sawyer. I always like those episodes because he is a richer character than people realize most of the time. Also we get to see him lying to everyone again, which is fun. Can’t tame this guy too much. Yet unlike previous episodes they did a good job at the end about wondering whether he was lying or not. Next week looks to be great because rumor is that the episode is about Ben. I have no idea where the show’s going but I’m still very excited. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Blog Update

Howdy everyone

As I'm sure you've all noticed there wasn't a new episode of LOST yesterday. That is why I've been procrastinating on my write-up on "LaFleur." You can expect that in a couple of days before I head back to Ball State. I'll give you a brief spoiler: It was fantastic.

Also you can expect some more updates in the next couple of days as I start to post book reviews written entirely for this blog. It'll only be of books there were published this year. Also I'm going to make a list entirely for this blog entitled: Top Five TV Shows That No One is Watching. Feel free to start guessing what they will be.

As always, thanks everyone for reading.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Explaining LOST - The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

“The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”


Now I’ve been looking forward to this episode for quite a while. They released this title a matter of months ago and I was shocked that they were going to tell this story so early in the season. Even after seeing if I have no idea what major thing they are going to cover for the season finale or even the series finale. Yet we have time to speculate about that later. Now let’s deal with Locke…or Bentham.

We open in a house on the island. Caesar, the man who gave his condolences to Jack at the airport is snooping around. He’s going through books and such. Old issues of Life. He breaks in and checks out some wacky looking maps and documents. One the camera focuses on for a bit is the EXACT same map Faraday had in his journal. He, of course, finds a gun and keeps it and then lies about it. He’s going to fit in so well on this show. Elena tells him to stop searching for clues and tells him to come check out this dude in the water in a suit. They walk over to the beach to find a bunch of people chillin’ out by a fire and our good friend John Locke. Who doesn’t look dead. At all. Was anyone surprised by this? One maybe, two? Okay, let’s move on.

Locke is back on the beach admiring an island from affair. A rather large island in fact, but more on that later. Elena gives him something to drink. Locke looks at the long boats that we’ve seen in previous episodes and asks whose they are. Elena says that they were here when they got here. There was one more, but the pilot and a girl took one. Yes! Lapidus is alive! Now if he would only grow his beard back. Speaking of lack of hair, Locke is enjoying being back on the island. He wants a passenger list to see which of his friends actually made it onto the plane. Elena questions why Locke was on the plane. He smiles and says that he remembers dying. Then in a LOST twist, she actually walks away from a direct answer.

We flash on back to Locke turning the frozen donkey wheel, which continues to be a awesome concept. He wakes up lying on the ground in Tunisia. Yep, we return to Tunisia. This is where Ben got off the island and where Charlotte found a polar bear skeleton with a Dharma symbol on its collar. Locke looks around and sees a camera pointing right at him. He yells for help, but the camera doesn’t respond. Because it’s a camera. It eventually becomes night and Locke hasn’t moved an inch because he has a boo-boo. Lame. A car does drive up next to him and a bunch of men take him away and throw him into the back of a truck. He’s taken to a very lame looking hospital that doesn’t seem very clean. They give him a bunch of pills and nasty looking water. Oh, but wait! It’s Abbaddon overlooking everything. This has been the creepy dude who visited Hurley in the mental hospital asking if “they” were still alive; he also was the one who got Locke on Oceanic 815. Yuck. They just popped that bone back into place.

Oh, but wait! It’s Widmore! That sorta evil man…who’s being very nice to Locke. He’s the one who treated the wounds and arranged for all of this. Widmore knew that Locke would be there because that spot is the “exit” for the island. Now I would make a Being John Malkovich reference here, but it would be for nothing because I’m positive that none of you regular readers have seen that movie. So I’ll just move on. Widmore chats about how he feared that Ben would trick Locke into leaving the island just like he did to him. So Ben made Widmore leave…Apparently Widmore was their leader for three decades and then exiled by Ben. Widmore assumes that Ben exiled Locke, but Locke says no no Farmer Joe. (Paraphrasing). Widmore truly seems shocked that he chose to leave willingly. I don’t think Widmore thinks that you can return after you leave. Locke also learns that it’s going to be tricky to bring back his friends since it’s been three years, but Widmore says that he will do everything in his power to help him. What? He says there’s a war coming and if he’s not back on the island when it starts then the wrong side will win. What? Are you kiddin’ me? Who is fighting in this war? Is it Ben vs. Widmore because both of them want Locke and friends to return to the island? Is there’s another sorta evil or completely evil dude out there? Shouldn’t we know this as we enter the last season and a half to know who the villain is? I love this show.

Locke is looking over his alias that Widmore set up. (Alias is also a show created by J.J. Abrams? OMG CONNECTIONS!) Widmore set up the name Jeremy Bentham (Totally saw that coming), who was a British philosopher who was inspired by the other philosopher John Locke. Widmore says that his parents must have had a sense of humor when naming him so this fits. I do like how the characters were aware of this and it wasn’t just there for the fans. Widmore also set him up with info about everyone, a trusty cell phone and a driver: Mr. Matthew Abbaddon. Locke questions if Widmore is the one who’s lying and not Ben. Widmore counters by saying that he hasn’t tried to kill him. Touché. Widmore says that he sent a freighter of killers to remove Ben so that Locke can lead. Yeah, I don’t believe that entirely. Widmore also says that he won’t let Locke die so we know he’s not telling the truth about that. Locke hobbles over to the car and look how nice Abbaddon is by having a wheelchair for him to roll around in. 

They start their car ride with Locke looking rather ticked. Abbaddon asks him if there’s anyone he wants him to find for him. Locke just scowls and so they board a plane to Santo Domingo where Sayid is working for the Peace Corps or something like it. Today they weren’t teaching the residents how to play basketball, but he was building a house. I guess that’s good too. Sayid is annoyed that Locke is asking him to go back. He says that Ben manipulated him for two years into thinking that he was protecting those they left behind. So he figures Locke is just spiting out more of the same. Except not literally because that would be gross. So Locke strikes out with Sayid, but we do get the groundwork for a cool mystery. What made Sayid leave Ben’s services, go to South America to do peaceful work, and then leave that life to kill and save Hurley? There are some really interesting pieces missing.

Anywho, Locke now heads over to New York. That makes two plane rides with zero crashes. His average is getting better. Locke finally asks Abbaddon to look up his ex-girlfriend, Helen. She left him early on in the show when he was too obsessed with his father to do anything else. In his defense, he did steal his kidney. Yet Locke gets out of the car to say howdy to Walt. Another scene I really liked because we forget how close Walt and Locke were back in Season One. He was more of a father to that kid than Michael was no matter how much he tried. Walt has been having dreams about Locke, which is sweet and creepy at the same time. Talking about dreams is all about tone. You can say it to a girl in a flirty manner or you can creepily say it in a stalkerish manner. Luckily Walt went with the latter. He said that Locke was wearing a suit on the beach and people who want to hurt him surround him. Locke laughs and figures that can’t be considered a warning or foreshadowing and thinks nothing of it. Stupid, stupid Locke. Locke also lies and doesn’t tell him that Michael is still alive. Their conversation is awkward, but it is how it would be. I thought it was a very well done and simple interaction. Yet Locke didn’t invite Walt back to the island and Abbaddon does bring up that Locke is now 0-2. Yet who’s that? It’s Ben looking pissed! I love Ben.

So Locke now travels to Santa Rosa, CA to visit Hurley. If I worked for this show, I would have him going across a map a la Indiana Jones. Yet another reason why I don’t write for the show. This scene is great because Hurley automatically assumes that Locke is dead, which confuses Locke to no end. It’s not until someone else acknowledges him for Hurley to freak out. It seems like Hurley is willing to talk about going to the island until he sees Abbaddon, who like I mentioned freaked him out when he visited Hurley last year.  This makes Hurley cover his ears and insist on being escorted back in. Abbaddon is getting annoyed. Locke finally asks him what Abbaddon does. He says “I help people get to where they need to get to.” This is such a great character. I sure can’t wait to see a lot more of him throughout this series.

Anywho, now Locke heads over to Kate who says no. At this point, I think they are just saying that due to peer pressure. Kate decides to bluntly judge Locke by talking about how obsessed he is about that island. She assumes it’s because he’s never loved anyone. Locke has this great mini-monologue where he says very little but he expresses some happiness in recalling his time spent with Helen. Happiness and regret. Kate continues to be a bitch, but this leads to Locke really wanting to see Helen again. Abbaddon tries to lie and says that he can’t find Helen. Yet he knows where she is.

She’s sadly dead and they visit her tombstone. She died of a brain aneurism in 2006 while he was on the island. This leads to an absolutely fantastic conversation about destiny. Abbaddon says her path lead here. He brings forth the question to Locke. Richard said he’s going to die. Is that inevitable or is that a choice? We’ll find out that result a little later. Abbaddon is packing up Locke’s wheelchair WHEN HE GETS SHOT AND FALLS THROUGH THE BACK OF THE CAR! What?!?! Locke tries to drive away but is a terrible driver. Oh, his leg’s hurt. Lame excuse. He gets hit by two different car and gets knocked unconscious. That was an exciting minute.

Locke awakens in a LA hospital, but WHICH LA hospital. The one that Jack Shepherd works at. I really like how they did that. This is the beginning of the downfall of Jack and he isn’t looking so good and isn’t so happy to see Locke. Each line is performed with so much weight behind them. I’m not even going to bother summing up this scene, because I would just write the transcript. I’ve loved how so many of the characters this episode truly question if Locke is “special.” Jack says they are just delusions UNTIL Locke says the powerful words “Your father says hello.” This is the one thing that would make Jack come back. We see the mental meltdown start for Jack. Both of the characters feel so desperate during this scene and it’s really a tour-de-force acting for both of them. I can’t wait for the reuniting scene of Christian and Jack.

This conversation leads Locke to become suicidal. Perhaps it is all for naught and he writes the infamous note for Jack. This scene is very simplistic in nature, but so well done. It is Locke hobbling around the room and tying an extension cord around the ceiling and his neck. The way it’s shot and acted is so powerful. He is all ready to step off the table when he hears a knock at the door—and it’s Ben! Ben is looking all classy and immediately tries to stop Locke from jumping off the table. We find out that Ben is also keeping an eye on everyone. He says he is here to protect him and by doing so he had to shoot Abbaddon because Widmore is…evil or something. I have no idea who’s the bad guy. I know it’s not Ben because Ben is awesome. Locke has lost all faith in himself until he hears that Jack booked a ticket to Sydney and back. Ben continues to say that Locke has too much work to do as he unties the cord. He helps Locke down from the table has he cries. Ben tries to give him a pep talk saying he’ll help him out. Ben also seems really shocked that Jin is alive. We see him calculating in a very Ben-like fashion. Then Locke also mentions Eloise Hawking and that makes Ben very curious. THEN BEN STRANGLES LOCKE! What is up with Ben killing off the most likable characters this episode? Man I’m getting chills again with this scene open in the other window. So why did Ben stop Locke from killing himself only to murder him? Did he want another notch on his belt or was it because of what Locke said? Was Jin being alive make a difference or was it Ms. Hawking? Or was it because of the way he died. We’ve noticed that the island doesn’t seem to like suicide on the show as Desmond, Jack and Michael were all stopped mysteriously right before they tried to die.

Ben proceeds to dust away all the fingerprints from the room and returns Locke to the noose. He’s really good at doing this. Too good? Yeah, probably. What isn’t Ben good at? Besides not getting beat up? He also takes Jin’s wedding ring and goes on his way. Before he goes he gets a little choked up and says “I’ll miss you John. I really will.” Does he not think that Locke will come back to life or does he think that he won’t be on the island to see him?

We flash back to the island as Locke informs Caesar briefly about the Dharma Initiative. The papers Caesar was looking had the Hydra symbol on it, the animal research station. Locke informs Caesar that he’s been on this island for a while before. Caesar has a big question for Locke. When the plane was really shaking, there was a bright light appeared and Hurley disappeared along with some other people. Locke doesn’t know, but he thinks he knows how we can find out. The passenger list was taken with Lapidus. Locke searches the injuried to see if he recognizes anyone and of course he does. His murderer. The one and only…BENJAMIN LINUS. How I love him.

Yet him being there brings up a lot of questions. Why did certain people flash to Dharma time (Jack, Kate, Hurley) and others didn’t (Ben and Locke)? Also when are Sayid and Sun? Also which woman did Lapidus run off with and where did they go? Now here’s something I actually did figure out. When the plane landed (Rather well I might add) was on the runway that Kate and Sawyer were mysteriously building when they were kidnapped by the Others back in Season Three. Also the Hydra station is on the smaller island which means Ajira Flight 316 is on the smaller island just two miles out from the main island, which is what Locke was actually staring at. I would imagine that they would be in 2008, but nothing on this show is for sure. This episode did a very good job about continuing to put all of the pieces in place but still made it very emotional for the characters. Great stuff as usual. This may end up being the best season yet, which for this show is extremely impressive.