Sunday, July 10, 2011

LOST Redux: S2E18 Dave

(At the request of a reader, I will be reposting old editions of my LOST column as they no longer appear on the internet. I will not be making any edits to them, so please be aware that they represent a moment and time--my thoughts and analysis after watching an episode's initial airing.)

I’M NOT CRAZY! Growing up, I screamed that at my parents one time. Locke whispered it once, I believe. I’d venture that we’ve all said it at one point or another. I’m forced to wonder. At what point does the diagnosis change from the person having an angst ridden moment to him being a certifiable nut job. Isn’t Kate crazy because she runs, literally, from all her problems? Isn’t Sawyer crazy because he pushes everyone away using belligerence and/or violence? Isn’t Jack crazy because he thinks he can control everything? Isn’t Locke crazy because he believes God is communicating with him? Aren’t you and I crazy because we’re so immersed in a television show that I’m writing this column and you’re reading it?

To answer the last question, maybe we are crazy, but if we are, we might as well revel in it. LOST is sort of like our Dave. It’s not telling us to kill our babies, rob liquor stores, or shoot up schools. It’s making us sit on the couch and waste our lives away as we fixate on a fantasy world. Dave made Hurley eat tacos. LOST makes us eat bullshit. Yes, I swore, but it was so tasteful, wasn’t it? Now I think I really am crazy because I’m laughing at that awful pun in the last sentence and I wrote it!

Before I get committed, I want to reveal the thoughts that came to me in this episode, so let’s get on with it before I’ve heavily medicated.


I don’t ask or expect much out of you readers, except to read, but could one of you tell me one thing and only one thing? Where did I recognize the actor who played the doctor from? I was distracted the entire episode because I couldn’t place him. I’m sure he played a scientist in another movie and I wanted to say Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Two, but I know that’s incorrect, so, someone, please, at least tell me the actor’s name. Or you could all ignore my request and let Nick handle it.

From this moment on, this episode will be forever known as the Sixth Sense Two. After M. Night Shyamalan’s brilliant thriller, it has become extremely difficult for any filmmaker to use the whole “this character isn’t real” twist. The Sixth Sense was so popular that too many people are aware of the little tricks the filmmaker uses to disguise and foreshadow the twist. For instance, when the crazy basketball player (not to be confused with Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant, or Allen Iverson) passed the ball over Dave’s head and when the doctor took the picture of Hurley and Dave, I was sure that Dave was a hallucination and that the doctor would show the picture to Hurley later. However, to the writer’s credit, they did a fine job of blurring the line a bit when the doctor pretended to talk to Dave to appease Hurley.

What makes this episode the sequel to the Sixth Sense is it used the twist from the first movie to disguise the final twist of the episode. I did see the final twist coming, as I found the first “twist” to be too obvious and felt as if the writers were making me focus on it too much, so I anticipated and analyzed. Still, the final twist was brilliant and brings up a whole lot of questions about Libby’s character and the show as a whole. Since this is a section about Libby though, I’m not going to ask or attempt to answer those questions.

I’m glad the whole “Why hasn’t Hurley lost any weight?” question can finally be put to rest. The writers had a plan for this character, probably still do, and it was revealed tonight in an emotionally engrossing episode. I can’t say I felt for Hurley the entire episode, but I definitely wanted him to overcome Dave and when the stakes were raised to his life as he stood on the edge of the cliff, I was hanging on more than a, um, cliffhanger. Quite honestly, what kept me from fully investing in Hurley’s recovery is the possibility that the entire show is a hallucination of us, but I’ll address that later.

Hibby or Lurley, take your pick, both terms have a unique ring to them and I’m sure I’m not the first person in the vastness of the interweb to use them. My one critical comment is that I feel that this odd romance was sprung on us too quickly. We know Hurley thought Libby was cute. They flirted at the washer and drier in the hatch a little. Then at the beginning of this episode, they almost kissed. Part of me wasn’t ready to believe yet because of this romance represents one of the hardest plot points to suspend my disbelief on in LOST. Every episode is centered on one character, but so much happens to the other characters that we don’t see. I have a hard time accepting that I’ll never get to see those scenes, that character development. My one solace is that the writers seem to struggle with these plot threads as well, throwing in scenes that sometimes feel awkward as if the writers said, “Wow, we need to throw in a Claire scene in here so people don’t forget her. What should we have her do?” “How about she’s holding the baby and the baby starts to cry. Rose can come over and teach her something then. She hasn’t been in any episodes lately either.”

I’m not going to complain about the writing though when scene such as the Hurley and Libby kiss are penned. I’ll admit it. I was sucked into the scene emotionally. Of course, now I have to take back calling those two guys at work fags for liking The Notebook, or…You thought the kiss scene in this episode was touching, Jay? You’re a fag! How dare you, Jay! That comment is so ignorant and intolerant. Go watch Brokeback Mountain! (See, I told you I’m crazy. By the way, I love the fact that there is a token gay movie now that I can refer whenever mocking homosexuals.)


Paging Dr. Jack to the hatch. Paging Dr. Jack to the hatch. I finally figured out what it is about the Jack and Kate dynamic that makes me believes they don’t belong together and yes, it is relevant to this episode, especially Hibby. Jack is the doctor and Kate is a nurse. In a way, nurses look up to the doctors they work with. Not to down talk all the difficult and amazing work nurses do (because my Mom is a nurse and I don’t want her getting mad when she reads this column and because I saw that episode of Scrubs where Carla gets made because all the doctors look down on her), but Doctors make the important and sometimes life and death calls and have the ultimate control over the situation (which is why it makes sense that Jack is a doctor). In this episode, when Jack and Kate were administering care to Locke, I finally realized it. Kate looks up to Jack because he makes the important calls on the island. Whether I like it or not, he has made those calls since day one. Thus, if he includes Kate in the decision making or needs her skills as part of the decision, it signals her value to the community (in her eyes). Kate doesn’t want Jack; she wants to be needed by others because she never has been before.

A true romantic relationship is based on equality (of course, I’m no Dr. Phil or Dr. Drew, so I could be wrong). Two people playing on the same team, in different positions, on the same skill level. When power issues come into play, such as a boss dating an employee, the roles become confused and the trust suffers between the partners suffer. Sure, arranged marriages were based upon male dominance for years, but were those true romances? Isn’t that why Pride & Prejudice was written?

Back to LOST, I thought Libby was a psychologist through much of the episode, so I was hesitant about the Hibby romance. Would she be controlling him the entire time trying to change him (as she said a few times in the episode)? Would she let him make his own decisions? Then, at the end of the episode, I discovered that Libby is taking the same journey as Hurley thus making them perfect for each other. The made for each other couple is one of the reasons I love fiction. It never works out that cleanly in the real world (especially MTV’s Real World).

In other news, I will admit, even as the head Sawyer Supporter, to enjoying Hurley attack Sawyer. It is more than fair to say Sawyer had it coming. I’m not saying what Hurley did is right (I mean, it was a joke, come on!), but you have to wonder why more people don’t just crack Sawyer in the face especially since there is no set of laws that say you can’t (even if there was a set of laws saying you can’t punch people on the island it would probably have a little asterisk that says “Except Sawyer). Well, except for that whole torture thing, but that was last season, so we’ll ignore it.

The Character formerly known as Henry Gale OWNS Locke. He knows exactly the right, excuse the second bad pun of this column, button to push with him. If I was the one talking to The Character formerly known as Henry Gale and he said all he said about not pushing the button I would have shot back immediately, “Oh yeah, and how am I supposed to know you aren’t making all that up because you know how much the button means to me? Maybe you’re pushing my button.” Personally, I don’t think The Character formerly known as Henry Gale was lying about lying. To translate that last sentence: he’s telling the truth. I think if the button isn’t pushed, events occur exactly how he described. The key to his manipulating Locke wasn’t lying about the button; it was how he phrased the truth. What do you think writing is except me phrase my thoughts in a way that manipulates you into caring about them?

Now you don’t like me anymore. Get in line.


Forgive me father, for I have sinned. I wish to confess it. I ask that you do not call me a blasphemer because I do not believe being honest with oneself or others is a sin. Are you ready? I hope so because what I confess may shock and disgust you.

When Dave told Hurley the entire show was a hallucination of his, part of me believed him and was satisfied with it as an answer because it made sense. I know, I know, LOST is much too well written of a show for it to use a cop out ending like the twist from the movie Identity, right? Maybe those endings only feel like cop outs because they aren’t done right. I dare you to go back and listen to Dave’s speech about how it all fit and tell me it doesn’t make sense. Of course, the point of Dave’s speech was that it was supposed to be specious, so maybe me partly believing further proves that I’m crazy.

But what if I’m not crazy? What if each of the 815ers represents an aspect of Hurley’s character he is trying to come to terms with? What if Sawyer is the self loathing part of Hurley and Hurley acting Sawyer shows he is frustrated with it? Hurley has become good friends with Sawyer in recent episode and part of the storyline for this episode was him moving away from that self loathing towards self acceptance.

The twist at the end of the episode further raises the possibility that this is all a Hurley hallucination. Libby was in the same hospital as him. What if all the other characters were in the hospital and thus he created island versions of them? I’m not endorsing this theory, as I think we’ve been giving too much tangential information about the island mysteries and I think Libby’s speech about the guy she buried was a signal to us that it’s not true, but don’t be surprised if a group of people start endorsing the theory. It is possible.

The other topic I would like to discuss for LOSTology this week is the ILC (Internet LOST Community) and it’s relevance within the realm of the fanbase. I touch on this topic a bit with my “Tell Shannon” column when I discussed spoilers in the IWC (Internet Wrestling Community), ISC (Internet Survivor Community), and our ILC. Basically, spoilers are too much information. However, with LOST, I think information after what has aired and before spoilers can be too much information.

I bring this subject up in this column because of a specific scene. When Sayid is talking to The Character formerly known as Henry Gale, Ana Lucia mentions Zeke. The Character formerly known as Henry Gale scoffs and says Zeke is nobody in the grand scheme. Now, if I had only seen the episodes I would have been able to deduce that he is just an actor and has some underlings and I still do believe him to be middle management. However, I have read around the ILC and know about Alvar Hanso and a reference Zeke made to him. This information makes what The Character formerly known as Henry Gale unsurprising and makes me think Hanso is “him” and Dharma is in control of it all. In short, it ruins my viewing experience.

Yes, you could argue that those who know such information are being manipulated by the producers. I have argued for that manipulation. They could be being led down a stray path in order to disguise what is really going on the way they used the easy to figure out twist to disguise the Libby twist in this episode. If this manipulation is real, it warps the perception of the viewer that knows the intentional misinformation. Rather than them taking LOST for what it is, they take it for what they perceive it to be based on what they believe that they know.

If the manipulation isn’t real, this show is a once in a lifetime viral viewing experience. The ILC has a chance to see the clues before the 815ers do and try to figure out the mystery before the 815ers do. Isn’t that why ABC created the show The Evidence because they believed that viewers want that kind of experience? The difficulty is how do you decide how to view the show?

The internet is a useful database. It saves me a lot of work. Other people compile the path crossing, in jokes, and screen captures that I don’t have the time, desire, or energy to compile myself. The problem is, to get to that extremely useful information you have to wade through all the possibly planted information. You have to be tainted in order to organize what you already know.

No, I’m not complaining. I only seek to make a point. I’d like to see a purist LOST website out there that only compiles events and information seen on the show, no spoilers, no rumors, no Hanso, no quotes from the producers, no future guest stars, nothing, a resource for the fan looking to solve what he has seen and not jump ahead. Maybe I’ve grown up as a LOST fan. Part of being a child is wanting everything and wanting it now. During much of the first season of LOST, I wanted the mystery to be revealed and Kate to end up with Sawyer and to be done with it. Now I’m content to watch it all unfold and see Hurley earn that kiss from Libby. After all, what good is a payoff if it’s unearned? If all we ever focused on was the victory then we’d all be nothing more than bandwagon fans and there is no way I could ever bring myself to cheer for the Pittsburgh Stealers.


-Crazy twist on 24 this week, so crazy I’m not even going to spoil it. All I have to say is, if you’ve been watching this season and missed it, download the episode. If you’ve never seen 24, rent or buy season five when it comes out on DVD. I’ll be buying it. Manny Coto is an amazing writer.

-South Park was brilliant again tonight, as always. The three episodes thus far this season have been spectacular. Their critique of Family Guy was spot on as well. Family Guy is very manic and the random references have a certain charm to them, but the formula gets tired. I got bored with Family Guy when I bought the Stewie DVD and said that critique in different manner, saying it was all the same and I was disappointed in the plot.

-Next time you’re sick remember, there could be a tick in your vagina. Either that’s the problem or you’re body’s attacking itself because you forgot:

Shut up, you’re wrong.

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