First, let us welcome another member to our ongoing LOST discussion. Ladies and gentlemen, a nice round of applause for Matt B. Matt managed to watch the entire series – that’s right, the whole damn series – over the course of the past four weeks or so. Matt officially caught up to last night’s episode after watching “The Constant” on Wednesday.
Now, then, let it begin.
1. Quality? As much as I enjoyed last night’s episode, was it really a great episode? I’d have to say no, in that it felt somehow unfocused. That is, there was, maybe, a bit too much going on. I mean, between Juliet and Jack tracking down Faraday and Charlotte, Juliet’s love “square” (Juliet, Ben, Goodwin, and the therapist) flashback, Faraday and Charlotte’s mission, Ben and Locke’s continuing power struggle, and so forth….man, that’s just a lot of shit to focus on.
2. The Tempest. Even though I made the obvious connection during last night’s viewing – hey, The Tempest is one of Shakespeare’s plays! – I didn’t really think about the story itself. I don’t know if any of you ever read the play, but it takes place on – you guessed it – an island. Prospero, who was more or less banished to the island and now lives there with his “fairy princess,” Ariel, his servant, Caliban, and his daughter, Miranda, summons a boat at sea to magically crash on the island. The boat contains the son of the king who banished Prospero to the island. I won’t get into all of it, but the reference cannot be ignored. Prospero = Ben, plain and simple. And if this is, in fact, accurate, could Caliban be the black smoke monster?
3. The Shrink. Did anyone else notice the doctor’s line to Juliet just before she busted her for sleeping with her husband? It was something like “you look just like her.” Now, if memory serves, she was discussing why Ben had a crush on Juliet. So who is it that Juliet “looks like” that’s got Ben crushing on her so hard? His own mother?
4. The Countdown. Something I hated: the countdown in The Tempest. While it was interesting to discover that Faraday and Charlotte were actually in the station to disarm the gas as opposed to releasing it, did they really need to do the trite countdown thing where the timer got down to one second or whatever the hell it was? Just for once, can’t someone get down to, say, 8 seconds before disarming the bomb/timer/whatever? Ridiculous. Also, I pointed out to Matt and Lily that Ben’s reaction to seeing Juliet in the power station — “Juliet, you’re not supposed to be here.” — seemed to suggest that, while he was surprised to see her there, perhaps Juliet is somehow in cahoots with Faraday and the rest of the freighter folk.
5. Ghost in the Machine? And speaking of Juliet’s trip to The Tempest, how did Ben communicate to the therapist that Juliet was to kill Faraday and Charlotte? Remember, when she “appears” to Juliet in the jungle, she tells Juliet that Juliet is to kill Faraday and Charlotte, per Ben’s orders. Now, did he really communicate that to the therapist, or are the exiled Others now calling their own shots and using Ben as a front? What’s more, if he did communicate this to the therapist, how (and when) did he do so? Did he give these instructions to the Others in the event that the folks from the freighter arrived? Did Ben communicate this to the therapist telepathically (which would make sense in terms of the paranormal testing on the island)? Or, most interestingly, did Ben “travel” via wormhole or Desmond-like from his captive state in the basement to where the Others are to give them these instructions?
6. The kids. Um, they actually referenced the little boy and girl, the ones from the first season (and, presumably, third season, who were looking at Sawyer(?) outside of his cage. What’s more, the kids were on the list. Wait a minute: weren’t we all in agreement – and I mean the universal “we” – that all kids were good, and that all of the kids were somehow being protected/recruited/taken? In light of this, though, we now know that these kids were on the list, which tells us why they were taken. Sweet Jeebus!
7. Miles. Something else I kind of hated: does Miles still have that grenade in his mouth? I mean, shouldn’t we get back to that sort of thing? And speaking of Locke…
8. Locke and Ben. Their scenes together continue to be some of the best, most riveting moments of the entire series. Granted, how Locke could get duped AGAIN by Ben and release him from his captivity is ridiculous. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Once again we see the Philip K. Dick book, Valis, which is an acronym for Vast Active Living Intelligence System. Here’s what Powell’s Books has to say about the book:
This disorienting and bleakly funny work is about a schizophrenic hero named Horselover Fat; the hidden mysteries of Gnostic Christianity; and reality as revealed through a pink laser. VALIS is a theological detective story, in which God is both a missing person and the perpetrator of the ultimate crime. The reader is left constantly wondering what is real, and whether or not the narrator is insane.
9. Okay, more Locke and Ben. First, it’s great that Ben asks whether or not the revolution has started, and once again plays upon Locke’s insecurities. Better, though, was Locke’s response, wherein he tells Locke he knows about the 3.2 million dollars, and even gives him a buck to “get him started.” That was fantastic. Now even though Ben shows Locke the Red Sox tape (yay, Sox!), why, once again, would Locke be so trusting? I mean, I know that Locke and Ben have a common interest in protecting the sanctity of the island, and therefore have a common enemy in Widmore. (By the way, who was the guy Widmore beat the shit out of in the video?) Even still, Ben shot you, Locke! Get your fucking head on! Seriously, why would Locke trust anything — anything — out of Ben’s mouth?! Ridiculous. Nevertheless, watching Ben nonchalantly walk out of Locke’s house and into his own house at the end of the episode was fantastic.
10. The opening. Yeah, I guess I should’ve kicked things off with this, but how great was the opening sequence? The writers, once again, pulled a fast one on me. I was sure we were seeing yet another member of the Oceanic Six, only to watch Tom walk in and break up the meeting. Goddamn that was great!
11. Michael. Or Walt. Or both? Who’s Ben’s man on the boat? I mean, the obvious guess would be Michael, but does Lost tend to do what’s obvious? I mean, aren’t they a bit more clever than that? Again, everything — even seeing his name in the credits — points to the fact that it’s indeed Harold Perrineaux on the boat. Still, why can’t I shake the feeling that it won’t be, that it’s too obvious?
12. Juliet’s a whore. Let’s face it: she gets to this island, starts sleeping with a married man (by the way, how about Juliet in the bikini? Ooh-la-la), and shortly thereafter is sucking face with Jack. Slut. The whole dynamic with her and Ben, though, was great, particularly A) the “dinner party”; and B) the dead Goodwin scene. You know, where Ben tells Juliet, “You’re mine!” Oh, good lord, that ruled. Even better, though, was his next line, when he tells Juliet, hunched over her dead lover’s corpse, “Take as much time as you need.” Goddamn, Michael Emerson is the fucking man.
Okay, that’s about it for me right now. I think I’ve wasted a good hour pulling this together.
So until next time, have at it, you vultures!