Sunday, July 10, 2011

LOST Redux: S2E20 Two for the Road

(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.)

Ok. Seriously. I am going to write a simple and coherent catchy sentence in order to capture your attention so you will continue to read my column all the way until it’s conclusion where I remind you all not to drink and drive. Heck, I just spoiled my own ending. There’s the moral folks. Do with it what you want. Have a nice day…

Ok, seriously, this sentence is going to be the catchy sentence. Did you notice how I used commas instead of periods in the opening to the paragraph? That formatting was done to signal to you, my illustrious reader, that I have calmed down, sort of.

You know that feeling when you get off of riding a super awesome roller coaster for the first time? Your ears are burning, your heart is racing so fast it hurts a little and you’re afraid it might stop even though you’re perfectly healthy, and all you can think about is running to the back of the line so you can ride again even though deep you know it won’t be as exciting as it was the first time. It’s never as exciting the second time around because your mind is aware of what’s up ahead on the tracks and thus knows what physical sensations to anticipate thereby eliminating any fear of the unknown. This episode of LOST was exactly like stepping off that roller coaster and I can never ride it for the first time ever again, no matter how much I’d like to. Instead, I’m attempting to cool my ears off, stop the neurons in my brain from shooting like Michael, and control my already growing hankering for Michelle Rodriguez’s sweet ass (she has a nice one cause she’s Hispanic).


This week’s flashback began Vanessa Carlton style with just a day, just an ordinary day. Predictably, Ana Lucia’s mother immediately thumbed her as the killer of the guy that shot Ana (Gee, I wondered how she figured that one out.) and not-so-discretely called her out on it. The conversation ended with Ana quitting the force, quickly explaining her constant use of “was” in her “I was a cop” statement (and we found out why this was explained away quickly in the climax of the episode). My only question with the opening flashback scene is: Isn’t there enough circumstantial evidence to convict her? The victim was the guy who admitted to shooting her. The victim was ritualistically killed meaning the killer was not only experienced with weapons but had a heavy motive. Finally, Ana has no one to confirm her alibi. Obviously Grisham and CSI did a bad job on this case. Wait, there’s no CSI in Los Angeles. There’s your problem right there.

The next flashback scene was where the real fun began and when I say real fun, I mean it. I marked out like a 13 year old wrestling fan in the mid90s when Stone Cold gave Vince McMahon a Stunner throughout the entire scene. Ok, Ana worked airport security. That job made total sense considering her law enforcement background. Then she goes over to the airport bar, which looks the same as the airport bar in Sydney because for some reason all airports look the same when you’re in them even though you know they’re different, and who’s sitting there but Jack’s Dad. Considering the parallel to the scene when Jack first met Ana, I was excited. Then, Jack’s Dad invited Ana to Australia and I got even more excited than when I got my IPod for my birthday that one year when I realized that was how Ana made it to Australia. Sure, the whole bodyguard line was kind of lame and smelled like a bad come on, which I still think it was, but, come on! Now Ana Lucia and Sawyer both met Christian at a bar. What is it with these Shepherds and their drinking?

Next, and I know I’m recapping her, Ana is in her hotel room in her underwear and we get a nice shot of her behind (by the way, thank you for that, producers) before Christian knocks on her door and makes her act like an Indian in New York City. In other words, she taxi drives him to what he presumes to be his daughter’s (He has a daughter?) house and then to the bar he gets drunk at with Sawyer (nearly hitting Sawyer with his car door as he opens it). I marked out when we found out he had a daughter (meaning Jack has a sister). I marked out when he almost hit Sawyer (cause, come on, it’s Sawyer). Man does my head hurt right now.

On a more serious note, the more I think about it, or maybe I’m just really tired, this flashback, the final Ana Lucia flashback, seems very hastily thrown together and entirely focused on mythology. I understand all the behind the scenes mumbo jumbo with the DUI, but it still seems like the writers decided to take advantage of the situation and throw a lot our way. I can understand why they did that too. This flashback was the last time they’d ever have the opportunity to use the Ana Lucia character in her own flashback, so why not go, as they say on MTV, “balls to the wall”? Still, I wonder if they could have found a better resolution to her arc then “Mommy, I’m sorry. I want to come home. I am on Oceanic Flight 815.” I’m not going to complain though. It’s nice to have another completed arc to discuss. (And I will, in a later section.)


Wow, are we already on section two? We moved quickly through the first section, huh? Or am I imagining the speed? Maybe I’m just going crazy because I’m visiting the Hanso website and calling the Hanso number that was in the commercial that aired tonight. What, you didn’t see the Hanso commercial? Consider yourself lucky. The marketing keeps hooking suckers like me in and reaping our souls Shang Tsung style. Heck, I’m even going to buy the book Sawyer was reading (but only because I think it’s about Jack and Sawyer). Speaking of Sawyer…

Anyone who tries to convince me that he got better by Ana Lucia is going to be fighting an uphill battle both ways in the snow in minus 30 degree weather. Yes, she used his own lust against him to steal the gun he was carrying. Yes, he now has revealed that two of the seven deadly sins (pride and lust) are his weaknesses (who wants to bet he can knock out all seven by series end?). However, Ana Lucia basically (no, not basically, she did) prostituted herself for a gun that she was murdered with. So, Sawyer had sex (thus satisfying the urge he’s surely had pent up since coming on the island) and Ana Lucia is dead. Advantage Sawyer.

The interesting question is how this ONS (one night stand) will affect the Sawyer and Kate dynamic. Obviously no one knows he and Ana did the deed, but they’re going to ask how she got the gun and something tells me Sawyer isn’t going to be too shy about admitting why, especially to gauge Kate’s reaction. And am I the only one who thinks Kate has become boring the last couple of weeks while following Jack around? This week she followed Locke and Jack and seemed to be little more than a prop. At least Eko, Charlie, Sayid, etc aren’t even in the episode if there is no use for them. Wow, some misogynist I am. I’m complaining that the good looking girl isn’t doing anything besides standing there and looking good! (Although, I guess Jin was a prop in the whole “This is our beach. There’s Jin.” joke. He did show personality by giving Hurley a thumbs up though!)

I still cannot get over how badly The Character owns John Locke. Anything he says, Locke jumps like a dolphin being given a treat by his trainer named Ian. Now, I don’t think The Character lies, rather he very cleverly tells the truth, but whatever he says, he knows exactly how to get into Locke’s head. Of course, Locke reminded us that he’s no mental slouch by picking up on the fact that The Character didn’t kill him while he had the chance. Maybe there’s hope for our favorite baldheaded character (besides Captain Picard…and Captain Sisko) yet.

And now I would like to turn to the tragic hero of tonight’s episode, the dude everyone loves yet no one is allowed to love (except the girl from the Mighty Ducks), Hurley. When Ana Lucia got shocked, I jumped a little and was like, “Wow” but it wasn’t really that big of a deal. I could feel the scene moving in that direction for a few minutes. Libby being in the hatch was something I totally didn’t expect and it looked like Michael didn’t expect it either. On their trek across the island earlier in the season, the two had formed a pretty good bond. Michael’s two shots at Libby were as erratic as they were reluctant in stark contrast to the one definitive shot he delivered to Ana Lucia’s stomach. The entire exchange made Libby’s death seem much more tragic, especially considering it seems like her arc isn’t complete. However, looking at the blanket as she fell explained why she was in the hatch and immediately made me think of Hurley.

He is literally going to go insane over her death. Finally, something good happened to him and it was taken away from again, just as if he is actually cursed. Maybe that’s the reason, storyline wise, Libby was killed off. Maybe the point is that Hurley actually is cursed. Or maybe the point is that he’s going to end up with the Mighty Ducks girl from the record store. A little tangent here, but is it me or are strong B-List actors lining up for bit guests roles on LOST hoping the roles become larger parts in the future (the girl from the Mighty Ducks, DJ Qualls, Kate Sagal, Robert Patrick, Senator Kelly from X-Men)? Anyway, when Hurley finds out Libby was killed by Michael he is going to flip out. Maybe we’ll find see the 815ers split into two groups along their fault line. Whatever happens, look on the bright side, Hurley told Libby that he thought the entire island was a hallucination of his because guys like him don’t end up with guys like her. Well, he didn’t end up with her. I guess it’s not a hallucination after all.


Hi, my name is Jayemel and I’m a LOST-o-holic. (Hi Jay!) Every time an episode that is heavy on mythology I have a difficult time falling asleep and awake the next day with what I call a LOST hangover: my head pounds, I’m irritable, all I want is to go back to bed, and black coffee and a cold showed do not help me feel better. Thursday morning was no different for me and if you must know, everything in this column prior to LOSTology was written Wednesday night, whereas this section and beyond were written Thursday afternoon. Yes, it’s a day later and I still haven’t recovered. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m sitting here debating who will win Survivor this season.

Fittingly, since this week’s episode was called Two for the Road (cause Michael took two for the road. HA!), two mythology ideas caused my head to explode. (The syllables don’t really match up in that rhyme, do they?) As always, I will address each idea in turn, give proper credit to the people who helped me develop the idea, and do so in a neat and organized fashion. Let us being.

1. Michael IS the crazy French chick (oh, she’s crazy).

No, I’m not talking about some weird body swapping or shape shifters. I’m talking about their storylines. The crazy French chick’s (oh, she’s crazy) boat crashes, her daughter is kidnapped, all of her crew dies, and now she’s crazy. Michael’s plane crashes, his son is kidnapped, two of the 815ers die (at his hands), and now we think he’s crazy. Compare his attitude to the crazy French chick’s (oh, she’s crazy). They’re quite similar, no?

When Michael started telling the story about the 22 others living on the beach with only two guns and one hatch I was very suspicious. They had taken more than two guns from Jack in the confrontation earlier in the season and we had seen them all clean and washed up, not dirty like Michael claimed, before. I didn’t think Michael’s story was a lie, but I did think he was being set up by the others (maybe the camp he saw was an act) or I allowed the outside possibility that it was a different group of others. Now I believe Michael was lying.

I believe Michael met with the others and they told him that if he released The Character and brought the 815ers to them, they would give him Walt back. I also believe the others told the crazy French chick (oh, she’s crazy) the same exact thing and that was how her crew members died. Obviously she when she fulfilled her end of the bargain she never got her daughter back, which would explain her extreme paranoia about the others.

Ok, but what about the sickness she is always babbling about? Perhaps there is no sickness. Perhaps the crazy French chick (oh, she’s crazy) actually IS crazy and her mind created a sickness to block out her memory of leading her crew to death or, worse yet, killing her crew. Can you imagine if Michael starts killing the 815ers one by one horror movie style as they march through the jungle? “ ‘Hey, guys, I gotta take a leak,” Michael says. Five minutes pass. ‘Where’s Charlie?’ Jack asks and Michael returns. ‘Michael did you see Charlie?’ ‘No, man,’ Michael says. Kate screams. Charlie is found hanging in a tree.” Then again, maybe the sickness IS the ambush the crazy French chick (oh, she’s crazy) led her crew into, a sort of biological warfare used to exterminate the “bad” people. Which brings me to my next section…

2. Locke is good, Jack is bad, and Ana Lucia is alright (except for that bullet hole in her stomach).

The Character was up to his old tricks again trying to manipulate the 815ers by his beautiful portrayals of the truth. We all know he owns Locke, but his conversation with Ana Lucia was equally interesting. I don’t think it really shocked anyone that Locke would be considered “good” by the others. The question now becomes what of Locke’s many qualities makes him “good” to the others? Does his faith in the island make him good because he will swear an allegiance to the others? Does his miraculous recovery make him good because it’s all an experiment and he’s an excellent test subject? (but then why didn’t they take Rose? Did they just not get to in time?) Does his manipulative and intellectual nature make him a prime candidate to be trained and enlisted as one of the others? Once again, the other confirmed goods are Eko, Walt, and Claire (though maybe just Claire’s baby). There isn’t really a common thread between them besides their childhoods being important (Walt’s a kid, the baby’s a baby, and Eko was a little off as a child). Using those three for comparison, I can’t really make any judgments. However, let us turn to Ana Lucia.

According to The Character, Goodwin claimed that Ana Lucia COULD be good. There is now a grey area between our good and bad/black and white. What is it about Ana that could be good? She wasn’t sick or anything so she wouldn’t be a good test subject. She doesn’t have any particular faith in the island. Ana Lucia is a strong leader with a strong nose for the truth and a straight forward approach to attaining it. She has a strong will and would be hard to break, a la The Character in the hatch. “Good” seems to mean that they would assimilate well into becoming an other. This would explain why the others would want Eko (why wouldn’t you want him on your team?) and the children (to train them from a young age). Now, perhaps this search for the good extends around the globe. I don’t know. What I do know is that we have a strong reason to believe what makes a person “good” to the others is that they can become an other well.

Why wasn’t Ana Lucia good? She had a temper and she was vengeful. So maybe the 815ers will the strongest character flaws are the worst ones and the ones the others want dead. Charlie has a needy addictive personality. Jack needs to control everything and can’t let anything go. Maybe these are the “bad” characters. I am especially inclined to believe Jack is “bad” because he is always the opposite of Locke. In contrast to Jack and Charlie, Kate and Sayid don’t really have any horribly bad flaws. Sure, Kate runs from everything, but wouldn’t that make her a good other? It would be easy for her to start a new life and we all know how manipulative and deceitful she is. As for Sayid, I’m not sure what his flaws are exactly, but we do know that he is a bright scientist, an ex-soldier, and excellent at extracting information from people. He would make a great other.

The dichotomy I just explicated made me think of another growing dichotomy in the show. There are two groups of crossovers in flashbacks. One group’s crossovers center around Jack while another group’s crossovers center around Locke. These groups never cross each other. Jack’s group is himself, Sawyer, Ana Lucia, Shannon, and Boone. Notice how three of them are dead. Locke’s group is Hurley, Jin, Kate, and Sayid. At the moment I can’t recall any other crossings, not can I locate a website that explicates them.

One other point of interest is that three of the people in Jack’s group were contacted by Jack’s father personally. Ana Lucia was brought to Australia by Jack’s Dad. We all know Jack’s Dad’s name is Christian Shepard. Is he actually not dead and the opposing force to the “him” that The Character and Zeke have referred to? Was he gathering those he felt would be well suited to fight the others? Are we going to see a battle of faith vs. science with Jack and Locke on the (as I have mentioned before) ironically opposite teams of what one would think they would be on? If you go to the Hanso Organization website (the presumed leader of Dharma, the presumed leader of the others), the picture of Alvar Hanso does look a lot like Jack’s Dad. Does that mean anything? Are Jack’s Dad and Alvar Hanso actually brothers? Are they the same person?

While I’m rambling making random assertions in the form of questions, is Claire actually Jack’s half sister? I’m betting yes and that she’s in Jack’s group. At this point I’m even starting to wonder if Sawyer is Jack’s half brother. Christian Shepard is a very busy man.

Wait, if Christian Shepard is God, does that make Jack Jesus? At the very least, it would make him the hero. I hate my theory now. Maybe Christian Shepard is just a tool of God, or just a tool.

Oh, another random thought before I close the LOSTology section. The reason God’s team would be the “bad” in the sense that they all have some tragic flaw they need to overcome, is that, in all religions, your salvation and forgiveness is through God, so naturally he would embrace all the 815ers, especially those with the tragic flaws.


-Alright, I’m done. I’m so drained from television over the last two days it’s ridiculous. Wednesday was the second greatest day in the history of television (new House, LOST, South Park, Mind of Mencia episodes all in a row and they are all phenomenal) only to the Super Bowl Sunday the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers and then Survivor All-Stars premiered. My only question is, what can the producers do to top this week’s LOST? And if you think they can’t top it, well, then I only have one thing to say to you. Cue the catchphrase.

Shut up, you’re wrong.

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