Posted by: cousinbrandon | April 15, 2009

LOST – Season 5, Episode 13: “Some Like It Hoth”

I’m not one for spoilers when it comes to LOST.  Aside from watching the trailer for the next week’s episode (which I only do on occasion, incidentally), I do my best to take the “hear-no-evil, see-no-evil” approach and go into each episode blind.  Unfortunately, bits of information sometimes slip the cracks and I inadvertently get a taste of what’s to come.  This week, through no fault of my own, the title of last night’s episode, “Some Like It Hoth,” slipped through.  What’s more, I knew it was a Miles-centric episode (and a good one, at that).  Now I’m sure it’s not the case across the board, but I would wager that most LOST fans have also heard of this little picture called The Empire Strikes Back.  And seeing as how the brains behind LOST have alluded to the Star Wars mythology previously, and are clearly “nerds” themselves, this obvious nod in the title sent my brain a-spinnin’.  So, enough of the set-up.  Let’s instead set our gaze on…

1. The Apartment Complex.  We open with a close-up of a microwave, where the time “3:16” is prominently displayed.  You know, like Ajira 316?  Or John 3:16?  Or the season 5 episode “316”?  Anyone?  Man, those writers sure like their number motifs.  A woman is haggling with the super about renting the apartment, telling him that it’s just her and her son, since the father is no longer in the picture.  The boy (Miles) wanders outside past the pool, where he suddenly has a Sixth Sense moment and is drawn to apartment number 4.  (Again, numbers, people.)  He puts his ear to the door before kneeling down and locating a hidden door key, interestingly placed beneath a small statue of a bunny rabbit.  (Wow, the allusions/callbacks in the early going of “Hoth” are fast and furious.  If you recall, we’ve seen bunny rabbits in the orientation films with Pierre Chang; we’ve seen them in Ben’s satchel way back in Season 3, when he lied to Sawyer about inserting a heart monitor into his chest cavity that would explode; and, of course, who could forget the Jack-centric episode, “White Rabbit”?)  Miles enters the apartment and begins screaming for his mother.  Momma Straume and the super bust through the door, where they find a dead Mr. Vonner strewn across the carpet.  (And by the way, what about Miles’ name?  Miles Straume?  Sounds a bit like “maelstrom,” which translates to “whirlpool,” a fitting connotation for LOST, no?  In a another definition, it denotes a powerful, personally destructive force.  Should we be anticipating a Rest in Peace moment for you, Miles?  I hope not.)  Miles says that Mr. Vonner is still talking, that he can hear him mentioning Kimberly.  The super points out that Kimberly died a year ago, and Miles, for the life of him, has no idea how he knows, yet he desperately wants it to stop.  Cut away to…

2. The Package.  Back on the island circa 1977, Miles gets a message from Sawyer via walkie-talkie, asking him to erase the pylon security tape 4 (again with the numbers!). Miles is obviously suspect, but complies.  After all, it’s Sawyer.  Miles ejects the tape, but before he can complete his mini-mission in walks Horace, who is asking about Sawyer’s whereabouts.  Miles claims not to know where he is, so Horace tasks Miles with delivering a “package” to Radzinksy in Sector 334, which, as we learn, is hostile territory.  Miles is told to wait for a package in exchange from the Rad-Man.  Now I’m not sure if Miles conveniently forgot the video tape or simply couldn’t grab it, what with Horace in the room, but Miles makes his way to the DHARMA van sans video tape, which will come into play later.  (I mean, of course it will come into play later.  Again, if you show the gun in the first act, it has to go off by the final act.)  Miles is stopped at gunpoint by Radzinksy, who is confused as to why Miles has delivered the package.  In a typically great and douchey Miles fashion, he tells Radzinksy, “I’m in the circle of trust.”  Radzinksy grabs the package, which turns out to be a bodybag.  Two DHARMA folks emerge from the forest carrying a body on a stretcher.  Miles instinctively asks what happens, and Radzinksy, clearly lying, tells Miles he fell, which doesn’t go down too smoothly considering the bullet hole in the man’s head.  Miles, body in tow, gets back in the van.  He unzips the body and asks the corpse, “Okay, so what really happened?”  In other words, Miles is about to get all Haley Joel Osmont on that ass.  Oh, but we’re not done flasbackin’ with Miles yet, thanks to…

3. Miles Straume, Punk Chic.  In one of the more convincing flashbacks in terms of aesthetic, we find Miles outside of yet another apartment, hair spiked and colored, face full of piercings.  He tells the woman who answers the door that he “needs to see her.”  Inside the apartment we find his bed-ridden mother, assumingly suffering from Cancer as evidenced by the hair loss (or perhaps exposure to radiation?), eerily reminiscent of Faraday’s ex who Desmond visited in Oxford.  In X-Men/mutant-like fashion, Miles sits at his mother’s bedside and says, “I need you to tell me why I’m this way.”  (Ironic, incidentally, since Ken Leung played an “evil” mutant in the last (and worst) of the X-Men films.)  Again the issue of Miles’ missing father comes up, to which his mother responds by saying he’s dead.  Ah, but this is Miles Joel Osmont we’re talking about, and in very cool, very calculated fashion, Miles asks to the whereabouts of his body.  In other words, someone wants to communicate with his dead father in a big, big way.  Interesting, then, is the cutaway to Horace, who is on the walkie-talkie with Pierre Chang.  Horace’s instructions to Miles?  Bring the corpse to Dr. Change at the Orchid.  This “order” leads to one of the best comedic duos since Laurel and Hardy, but before we get there…

4. Kate, Juliet and Roger.  Kate returns to the infirmary/OR to find Juliet, who wants to know how Kate’s romp into the jungle with mini-Ben went.  Everything’s copacetic.  Or, everything’s copacetic until the appearance of Roger Linus, who enters to find his son missing.  Naturally his first thought is that his boy died.  Juliet assures him he’s not dead before instinctively lying about the fact that she left for 10 minutes and Ben was missing upon her return.  Roger naturally goes a bit haywire, as his boy “who he so loved” (um, really?) is gone, and his only option, then, is to go to security and report his disappearance.  And in one of the best, most understated moments of the episode (if not the entire season), Juliet quips, “Well, here we go.”  Here we go, indeed.  And now, the comedy… 

5. Miles and Hurley, Round 1.  As much as I should have seen their potential interactions/conversations as being downright hysterical, somehow it eluded me.  Hurley is hitching a ride with Miles to the Orchid in order to deliver some sandwiches slathered in his home-made garlic mayo.  Miles, of course, tries to keep Hurley from riding shotgun, seeing as how Miles has a corpse in tow.  Hurley insists upon the ride-along, and the two of them make their way to the Orchid.  En route, we’re treated to a couple of swell songs, including Albert Hammond’s “Seems It Never Rains In Southern California” (yeah, the father of the Strokes’ guitarist), which, incidentally, opens with the lyric, “Got on board a west-bound seven-forty-seven, as well as “Love Will Keep Us Together” by The Captain & Tennille.  Hurley, noting the “rotten” smell in the van, accuses Miles of “stepping on a duck,” so to speak.  Afraid the mayo’s gone bad, Hurley insists Miles pulls the van over.  Hurley opens the trunk and begins to literally sniff around, before uncovering the body bag and its contents.  Miles reveals that its Alvarez, and he’s thinking about Andrea.  Wanting to know how Miles knows what the corpse is thinking, Miles lets Hurley in on the secret:  he can hear the thoughts of dead people.  In understated Hurley fashion, the big man reveals that he, too, talks to dead people; no big deal.  And if you recall, we’ve seen Hurley “communicate” with both Mr. Ecko and Charlie, and yet his form of communication with the dead is nothing like Miles’.  But before Thelma and Louise can continue their discussion…

6. Miles Straume, Grifter.  We flashback to Miles comforting Mr. Grey (as portrayed by Dean Norris, co-star of Breaking Bad, which I implore all of you to watch) in regards to his dead son.  Mr. Grey wants confirmation that his son, Russell, knew his old man loved him.  Miles takes his hands and confirms that, yes, Russell knew/knows.  Clearly this is BS, but it gave Poppa Grey the security he needed, so no one got hurt, right?  On his way out, Miles is stopped by (gulp) Naomi, who I’d pretty much forgotten about at this point.  And even though I never liked her character on the show (nor the actress who portrayed her), it was a refreshing surprise.  She informs Miles that her employer (um, Widmore?) wants to meet him at a local restaurant, to which Miles agrees.  Back in 1977…

7. Kate and Roger Sittin’ On a Swing.  Again, I was a bit worried at first, as it once seemed the two of them might have some sort of creepy, budding relation.  Fortunately, this scene pretty much assures that ain’t gonna’ happen.  Kate, in the hope of comforting Roger, sits with him on the swingset, and the two work out on some DHARMA beer.  In her effort to assure him of Ben’s safety, Roger instead grows suspicious and assumes she had something to do with his disappearance.  Well done, Kate.  Way to keep things under wraps and protect your friends.  Seriously, as much as Kate “improved” a couple episodes back, old Kate reared her ugly head here, and once again compounded a problem.  I wouldn’t call her the turd in the punchbowl; rather, she’s the ladle stirring the punch.  Right about now, I could use some more comedy in the form of…

8. Miles and Hurley, Round 2.  In a continuation of their “dead” chat, Hurley says he has conversations with dead people, whereas Miles “feels” who they were and how they died.  In any event, both seemingly “converse” with the dead, but we know (or do we?) that Hurley’s “conversations” are merely figments of his imagination.  Insanity will do that to a guy.  They arrive at the Orchid which is under construction.  Pierre Chang is on site and wants to know why Hurley is there, as Miles was specifically ordered to come alone.  Hurley assures Pierre he can keep a secret, which is a good thing, according to Pierre, as he will be cleaning up polar bear feces should he break the code of silence.  Hurley, obviously irritated, calls Pierre a douche.  And then, in the moment all of you were waiting for (not me, since I predicted it in the cold opening of Season 5, Episode 1), Miles responds, “That ‘douche’ is my dad.”  Zing!  Always nice to have your theories pay off.  Granted, I didn’t think this one was too difficult to get your arms around, but nice nonetheless.  Hurley is naturally blown away by the news, and wants to know “How weird is it that your dad is the dude from all those movies?”  (Seriously, I think Hurley stole the show this week.  So many good lines.)  He wants to know why Miles won’t talk to him, and why he doesn’t warn him about the soon-to-come events on the island.  Again, buying into the “whatever happened, happened”/Faraday theory, Miles insists that he can’t save his father, and that Pierre is “going to get killed no matter what I do.”  (And by the way, can someone please confirm or refute that Miles said “killed” and not “die” in regards to what happens to his father.  What, at this point, made him think his father was killed as opposed to simply dying?)  Let us then go back/forward to…

9. Felix.  Naomi and Miles enter the restaurant which is obviously closed.  She takes him into the kitchen where a dead body lays on one of the cold tables.  She tells him that she needs proof of his special ability for her employer’s sake.  Miles does his “nose twinkle”/Bewitched trick and reveals that the man’s name is Felix.  He was on his way to deliver documents — papers, photographs, etc. — to someone named Widmore.  The photographs centered around empty graves, and there was a purchase order for an old airplane.  Impressed with his gift, Naomi tells Miles that she’s leading an expedition to an island, and his ability would be most valuable in trying to locate her group’s target.  Miles initially refuses, but when she promises him $1.6 million (16) in exchange, he immediately changes his tune.  Does this mean, then, that Widmore was responsible for the staged crash, or simply doing recon on it?  In other words, were the photos and purchase order being taken to Widmore by request as proof of his investment?  That’s how I read it, anyway.  So, we now understand Miles’ initial recruitment and how he came to be part of the gang that crashed the island party.  And speaking of the island…

10. Janitor Jack.  Jack is a DHARMA classroom wiping down the blackboard when a drunken Route Linus stumbles in, demanding to know what Jack was doing cleaning up Roger’s route.  (By the way, did anyone get a look at the contents of the classroom?  I checked out some hi-res screen caps and noticed a couple items of interest.  First, a sign next to the blackboard reads “Dharma Students Make Learning Fun!!”  Second, and more compelling, was the lesson Jack erased.  Apparently the class was doing a lesson plan on Old, Middle and Late Egyptian history.  What’s more, on the far left of the board are several glyphs, namely a bird.  These particular glyphs reminded me of the same ones that appeared on the timer in the hatch.)  Jack points out he knows about Ben’s disappearance, and merely wanted to help out.  Roger asks about Kate, convinced she’s responsible.  After all, she gave Ben blood, asked about his disappearance, etc.  Jack assures Roger Kate’s not responsible, but Roger’s not having it, and says he’ll go to Horace or Porter.  Didn’t we get mention of Porter a few episodes back, perhaps by Radzinksy during the scene in which the DI are voting as to what should happen to Sayid?  But first, back to the comedy (again)…

11. Miles and Hurley (and Pierre), Round 3.  As Miles drives with his father riding shotgun, Hurley sits in the middle-backseat, looking like an oversized, impetuous kid.  Hurley asks about the Orchid station, and more or less incites paradox by inquiring about Pierre’s child, who is a little boy named Miles.  What a coincidence, points out Hurley, as his [Miles] name is Miles, too.  Hurley asked if it had anything to do with Miles Davis, but Pierre insists that he’s more of a country music fan (which, by the way, rings true with the cold opening from this season’s first episode, in which Pierre is listening to Willie Nelson).  Hurley proposes that the three of them have a beer sometimes.  Hysterical.  Miles, of course, is not only unnerved by this conversation, but understandably irritated.  Pierre has Miles stop the van, before getting out to unlock a hidden gate covered in jungle shrubbery.  They follow the road to yet another construction site, only this time it’s not the Orchid, but the hatch.  (Interesting that the two were built simultaneously.  Does this mean that they somehow “need” each other?  I mean, the Orchid covers the location of the frozen donkey while and contains the “teleportation” chamber Ben later destroys; the hatch, presumably, is built around Jughead.  Hmmm….)  Hurley’s demeanor quickly shifts to panic, as he watches the workmen imprint the numbers on the hatch sleeve.  So much for comedy.  But before we once again pick up with the dynamic duo…

12. Bram.  Miles is walking away from a taco stand, taco in hand, when he is scooped up by a hooded group of black-clad individuals.  The spokesman is a gentleman named Bram (who, if memory serves, is one of Ilana’s henchmen as introduced in “Dead is Dead”).  Bram attempts to talk Miles out of working for Widmore, asking him if he “knows what lies in the shadow of the statue.”  (Again, this is clearly the riddle/password required by those associated with Ilana and crew.)  Miles says he’ll join them for $3.2 million (double the $1.6 million he’s being paid by Widmore), but Bram insists they’ll pay him nothing.  They toss Miles from the van and tell him that he’s “playing for the wrong team.”  (Incidentally, the name Bram is of Scottish/Gaelic descent, and is sometimes translated as “raven,” which is a symbol of death.  Just ask Poe.)  Again, indications/implications of the impending war.  More and more we’re learning about the sides and the lines in the sand.  The war will absolutely rear its head by season’s end; I guarantee it.  [Warning, guarantees guarantee nothing.  Neither Cousin Brandon or anyone in his immediate proximity are responsible for ill-informed promises.]  After being tossed from the van, Miles, in yet another comedic moment, tells Bram he owes him a fish taco.  Fantastic.  And speaking of comedy…

13. Miles and Hurley, Round 4.  Miles and Hurley are on the road again, sans Pierre.  Hurley tells Miles all about the hatch and the button, before pointing out that Pierre “was totally down for that beer.”  What’s more, he makes the point that Miles could hold himself as a baby.  No longer able to contain his anger/frustration, Miles spouts off about his father leaving him, and not wanting to talk to him.  Hurley calls him out, to which Miles responds by taking Hurley’s journal and reading from it, only to discover that Hurley is writing the script to Empire Strikes Back, only improving it.  This, of course, is where the title of tonight’s episode comes from, as Hurley makes reference to the ice planet Hoth.  (And if you’re interested in reading about a whole other brand of Hoth, I highly recommend you check out Doc Jensen’s latest column, in which he delves into a Hoth I never knew of, and yet am completely fascinated by.)  Any reference to Star Wars is obviously intentional in LOST, particularly when you consider Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, particularly “the hero’s journey.”  A couple points of interest:  A) Star Wars (or A New Hope debuted in, you guessed it, 1977, which is “when” Hurley and company are; and B) Seeing as how he’s a Star Wars fan, wouldn’t Hurley have realized that Empire, which debuted in 1980, must have not only been written already, but likely filmed?  Just a thought.  Meanwhile…

14. Phil.  Sawyer returns home to find Jack in his living room, which had to have been jarring considering his history with Juliet.  (How much of that, incidentally, do you think she discussed with Sawyer?  All?  None?)  Jack was on his way out, and was only there to fill them in on the Kate situation.  Sawyer walks Jack out, only to find the ever creepy Phil outside his door.  Phil tells Sawyer he knows who took Ben:  “You.”  Sawyer tells Phil he can explain and walks him inside.  Once he confirms that Phil said nothing to Horace, Sawyer lands a haymaker and knocks Phil out cold, before telling Juliet to “Get some rope.”  And before we get to the final scene(s), we return once more to…

15. Miles and Mr. Grey.  Miles informs Mr. Grey that he’s about to get on a boat, but before he does he wants to return Mr. Grey’s money.  He lied to Mr. Grey about speaking to his son.  Mr. Grey doesn’t understand why he couldn’t just let him go on thinking he had, in fact, communicated with his boy.  Miles explains it would be unfair.  Not to Mr. Grey, but to his son, Russell.  If he wanted to make sure his son knew he loved him, he should have told him while he was alive.  Ouch.  Still, this is the sort of curveball, however unnecessary, I like.  I mean, we didn’t really need the Mr. Grey scenes, as they only managed to confirm initially that Miles was a con man who was in it for the money.  And yet by returning Mr. Grey’s money — not because he lied about his ability, but to make a point and stick up for the kid who likely mirrored himself — we get a whole other understanding of Miles which is really satisfying.  And that, again, is what LOST does so well:  it creates and further builds upon complex characters.  And so this brings us to…

16. The Reunion(s).  Hurley and Miles return to camp.  Hurley apologizes about pressing Miles, then explains that his own father was out of the picture when Hurley was 10.  Fortunately, though, they reconciled, and now Hurley misses him a great deal.  Hurley once again references Empire, and says that if only Luke had reached out to his father, all the turmoil might have been avoided.  And in one of the most un-Hurley lines he’s ever spoken, he tells Miles that “[Luke and Darth Vader] worked it out eventually, but at what cost?”  Not that the comment isn’t incredibly poignant, but since when do we look to Hurley for poignant, articulate thought?  I mean, he somehow pulls it off, but it seemed completely inaccurate dialogue for Hurley.  Maybe I’m overreacting.  Miles walks through Othersville and stands outside the house of his own mother and father, watching Pierre balance Miles as a baby on his knee while reading him a children’s book about polar bears (apparently).  Not only do we see Pierre the curmudgeon in rare, almost giddy form, but for the first time (I think) we see a character looking at himself.  That is, we have two versions of the same person interacting with himself in the same timeline.  The only other time we saw this was when we saw both bunnies (i.e., the same bunny) in the same timeline.  But, then, those were bunnies, which, again, is a nice callback to this week’s opening.  Pierre gets a call and leaves the house, where he sees Miles walking off in the courtyard.  He calls to Miles and tells him he needs him, to which a clearly surprised (and overjoyed) Miles responds with a definite crack in his voice.  (Honestly, it choked me up a bit.)  Pierre tells him there’s a boat coming in.  Miles speculates that it’s new recruits, but instead Pierre tells him that scientists are coming in from Ann Arbor.  (Again, did he reference Porter here, or was I just enforcing my own will?)  Pierre and Miles go the dock, where out from the sub emerges none other than — wait for it — Daniel Faraday.  “Hey, Miles.”  Black screen.  AWESOME!!!  That might have been my favorite ending of the season.  Oh, Faraday, how we’ve missed you.

17. Whose Dad Is It Anyway?  This is, perhaps, a strange and way off observation of sorts, but I got to wondering about something.  You know how Aaron wasn’t really Kate’s child, and yet she raised him nonetheless?  And you know how Alex wasn’t Ben’s daughter, and yet he raised her nonetheless?  And you know how the kids on the island are apparently “taken” by Ben and “the good guys” in order to be raised?  And you know how Richard sort of takes mini-Ben so that he might be raised by The Hostiles?  And you know how Locke wasn’t raised by his birth-mother?  And you know how Sawyer wasn’t raised by his parents, either?  Well, what if Roger isn’t really Ben’s father?  I mean, I’m not even exactly sure why I think this, but for some reason I started to think it could be the case.  His resenting Ben for the death of his wife is one thing, but what if he also resented Ben because, well, she was pregnant with someone else’s baby?  And what if — and this is a BIG what if — that man turned out to be someone like, say, Charles Widmore?  I mean, at this point we don’t know who he sired a child with off-island, yet we can assume that child was Penny.  But what if he impregnated another woman, as well (or even the same woman previously), and we learn that Ben and Penny (similar sounding names, particularly given that Desmond calls her “Pen” sometimes) are actually siblings?  And the plot thickens…

No show next week.  Well, no new show, anyway.  So, either I will or won’t be back here in a week to drop some dimes on you.  Until then, have at it, you vultures!

BD

Advertisements

Responses

  1. […] porch and removes the hidden key from under it, exactly as we saw Miles do in the season 5 episode “Some Like It Hoth.” Jack searches inside for David, but no one is there. He scans David’s room and finds sheet music, […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: