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Lost! On an island!
March 14, 2008 8:00 AM   Subscribe

While watching LOST, did you ever think, "Boy, what this show needs is an 80's-style theme song?" If so, you're in luck.
posted by UKnowForKids (89 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Like Bea Arthur fucking a coconut.
posted by fleetmouse at 8:10 AM on March 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's not that sexy, fleetmouse. I would've put "And Vincent the Dog as Himself" at the end rather than Terry O'Quinn, followed by a "Group standing together and laughing" freeze-frame and fade-out shot, but it's pretty fun all the same.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:18 AM on March 14, 2008


Well, as for 80s tv coolness, they've already got the obligatory "very special flashback episode" category covered! Now they need a musical episode. And one where Sawyer puts on a leather jacket and waterskis over a Dharma shark.

But jesus, I love that show. Last night screwed me up... wait... there's simultaneous flashing back AND flashing forward just to fuck with me? WHAT?!?
posted by miss lynnster at 8:23 AM on March 14, 2008


What is wrong with the phase in that song? Is that caused by using a freeware stereo expander or something?
posted by bunnytricks at 8:28 AM on March 14, 2008


This LOST...it's a tv show?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:30 AM on March 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


I missed the first episode, and realized after that I would never know what the hell was going on... and stopped watching..

is it still on the air?
posted by HuronBob at 8:40 AM on March 14, 2008


What is wrong with the phase in that song? Is that caused by using a freeware stereo expander or something?

No, one of the channels is just reversed. I was listening to it through the board in my control room, and the channel was set for mono. It was a little freaky. There's one or two things that aren't panned dead center, but almost the entire song gets canceled out.
posted by god hates math at 8:57 AM on March 14, 2008


I missed the first episode, and realized after that I would never know what the hell was going on... and stopped watching..

Those of us who have obsessively watched every episode also have no idea what the hell is going on.
posted by jbickers at 8:57 AM on March 14, 2008 [8 favorites]


When they show last week's rerun before the new episodes, they add little popups explaining what the hell they characters are talking about. e.g, "So-and-so painted a rabbit with the number 8 back in season 3."
posted by smackfu at 9:06 AM on March 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's just missing the freeze frame shot of everyone jumping.

And I've really liked this season, but it seems like they're starting to go to far in the opposite direction from the past seasons. Before, they wouldn't give much info about the secrets, now every episode seems chock full of "You want answers, well we'll give you thousands of them!"
posted by drezdn at 9:06 AM on March 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Is this one of those things one would need a TV to understand?

I kid!
posted by mwhybark at 9:07 AM on March 14, 2008


mywhybark: no, even a TV won't help you. Nobody understands what the hell is going on, on that damned island!

I don't know what the "mystery" is (although I can conjecture for about an hour if you're interested) but I'll only be happy if it ends with someone pulling the head off of a black smoke costume to reveal Ben who says "And I would have gotten away with it to, if it wasn't for you meddling kids!" and then Vincent drags the blonde girl from season one's corpse up to the beach and they all laugh and laugh...
posted by papercake at 9:24 AM on March 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


drezdn, at the risk of turning this into a general discussion about the show, I attribute a lot of the improvement this season to the addition of Brian K. Vaughn as a writer. The major problem with LOST, in my opinion, has been that they had a really hard time balancing serial storytelling (all those story arcs that last a full season, or even longer) with the demands of telling a mostly discrete story in each individual episode. They used the flashbacks as a lazy way out of the latter demand, giving each episode its own story, but one that (once we were introduced to all the characters) didn't really do much to advance the plot of the show. Hence the pattern of Shocking Opening, 50 minutes of flashback/doing nothing on the island, and 2 minutes of WTF? to close the episode.

I see this as part of a larger problem in television writing with the dramatic rise in popularity of season-long story arcs, especially in the sci-fi/fantasy shows. Heroes is the worst, at least in the four or five episodes I watched before giving up, as each individual episode has nothing to hold it together, in terms of satisfying the need for a discrete story in each episode. All we got in the episodes of that show that I saw was a tiny advancement of each character's individual plotline.

The reason I think that Vaughn is responsible for the improvement of LOST this season is that he comes to TV writing from another medium that's been dealing with the balance between long-term story arcs and individual "episodes" for a long time - comics. (He's the writer of the recently concluded Y: The Last Man series, among others.) In that medium, he's got a lot of experience with telling a story in a single issue, while advancing many larger plotlines at the same time. Unlike many episodes of LOST, you don't leave an issue of Y feeling like it was just marking time to fill up the required number of episodes for the season/issues in the series. (In comics, the term is "writing for the trade" - with the increase of people buying trade paperback collections of multiple issues rather than individual issues, or "floppies," many writers have just started telling every story in six-issue arcs, the number of issues in a given trade paperback. This often leads to stretching out plotlines longer than necessary to reach the magic number of six issues.)

Also, Sawyer sure does rip his shirt off a lot, doesn't he?
posted by UKnowForKids at 9:27 AM on March 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'd like to take the opportunity to say that last night's episode was a total mindfuck.

Not that that's much of a surprise. The show pretty much depends on total mindfucks as a standard plot device. I mean, if the show had some sort of wiki, you can bet that the word "mindfuck" would be a premier article *. Heh.




* OMG SPOLIERS
posted by Rhaomi at 9:34 AM on March 14, 2008


No one understands? I think I have a pretty good grasp of what's going on!

All it took was:
1. Watching every episode twice
2. Listening to all the director commentaries
3. Memorizing Lostpedia
4. Following the results of the ARG
5. Watching the Mobisodes
6. Listening to Every Official Podcast

I mean, I'll never understand why people act like its a chore to keep up with.
posted by absalom at 9:35 AM on March 14, 2008 [9 favorites]


PS: The mindfuck flashback/forward spoiler took us about 10 minutes to figure out. (What? He faked his death and is still working for Mr. Paik??) Then I remembered the cell phone that got smashed was WAAAY to old for it to be a flash forward, realized what happened, then said:

"Well, that's cheating!"
posted by absalom at 9:36 AM on March 14, 2008


I thought mixing the flashforward and flashback was a great storytelling technique, but I've read far too many people complaining about it today (stupid internet).

Brian K. Vaughn is writing for them now? That's awesome.

As someone who pays a ton of attention to storytelling, I'm really impressed with the way Lost manages to balance telling the story just in the episodes, and giving lots of extra material to fans that add to the story (but don't take away from it, if you don't know about them).

For example (possible spoiler, if you haven't seen the footage from the comic-con), but if you read the lostpedia, you know of a station that hasn't even been mentioned in the show yet, knowledge of which made "The Other Woman" more interesting (are they finally going to show it? Wait, there's another new station!?!) but didn't hurt the episode if you didn't know about it.
posted by drezdn at 9:44 AM on March 14, 2008


Most eighties themes didn't have lyrics.

As for LOST. I really loved the first season. After that it soon became obvious that there was no way they were getting out of the corner they had painted themselves into and the show just got dopey by the end of second season. The writing became idiotic I began to hate every single charachter. I caught one episode since then and it was impossible to watch because my eyes were rolling around too much.
posted by tkchrist at 9:50 AM on March 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


You should give it another chance tkchrist, and catch up with the episodes you missed online. Seasons 2 and the early part of season 3 were kind of a let down, but it has vastly improved since then. The episode two weeks ago ("The Constant") was one of the best in the show's history, in my estimation.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:55 AM on March 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Also, speaking of Lost and cheesy 80s TV shows: MacGyver Saves the Cast of Lost (Warning: contains 80s theme music).
posted by Rhaomi at 10:00 AM on March 14, 2008


Most eighties themes didn't have lyrics.

I think you'd have a hard time proving "most", because a lot of them did. Diff'rent Strokes, Facts of Life, Growing Pains, Family Ties, Cheers, Mr. Belvedere, Full House, Small Wonder, Perfect Strangers, Saved by the Bell, My Two Dads, etc. (Ok, the first two shows started in the 70s, but enjoyed most of their run in the 80s)
posted by Gary at 10:11 AM on March 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


More for people who enjoy Lost and music: Lost Recap Cover Band.
posted by aftermarketradio at 10:13 AM on March 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, eighties sitcoms had lyrics, and eighties dramas did not.
posted by smackfu at 10:22 AM on March 14, 2008


Yeah I was thinking of the likes of "Magnum PI."
posted by tkchrist at 10:27 AM on March 14, 2008


I was thinking more Simon & Simon, tkchrist, but yeah. No lyrics would have been spot-on.
posted by steef at 10:34 AM on March 14, 2008


Fair enough, I see your point. In their defense, if you're trying to make a funny internet video it's easier to come up with a catchy jingle than than a really memorable instrumental.
posted by Gary at 10:36 AM on March 14, 2008


Reminiscent of 21 Jumpstreet.

please stop posting spoilers about last night's episode - i haven't seen it yet!
posted by lunit at 10:40 AM on March 14, 2008


You should give it another chance tkchrist, and catch up with the episodes you missed online.

OHHHHH no you don't. I'm not falling for it again. "Hey TK give BSG another chance... they're putting Baltar on trial!" And then what happens? SUCK FEST! I was betrayed twice by BSG and damned if I'm gonna get suckered by LOST.


... Soooooo... 'the Constant' was that name of the episode?
posted by tkchrist at 10:44 AM on March 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


lunit: An alternate timeline Ben is Ben's man on the boat! DHARMA transmogrified Jin into a polar bear and sent him into the past, where Sawyer shot him! Locke blew up the island so hard that six people were blown all the way to Los Angeles, yet they somehow landed unscathed!
posted by bunnytricks at 10:45 AM on March 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


The main reason to give Lost another chance is that they have a fixed number of episodes (around 40?) left. The big letdown in seasons 2 and the first half of 3 was that it felt like they were making it up as they went along and kept going in circles. Now they can finally start delivering answers (even if they do hit you over the head with them sometimes) and start writing towards an ending.

(Unless they follow The Soprano's lead, keep delaying the end and pad the last two seasons with a whole bunch of mediocre episodes. Which I'm sure they will if the ratings are good enough.)
posted by Gary at 10:53 AM on March 14, 2008


There's nothing about this that sounds "80's style" It sounds kind of forced and doesn't really effectively satirize either lost or 80's theme songs or the ridiculousness of the two being paired together.

But the biggest reason I call this a failure is because it doesn't take a comedy professional to see the words Lost and 80's TV to immediately realize that Lost+The theme from Cheers = comedy gold.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:54 AM on March 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


I was thinking more Simon & Simon, tkchrist, but yeah. No lyrics would have been spot-on.

Horrifyingly, the Simon & Simon closing theme actually did have lyrics. Mercifully they put a stop to that early on.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:01 AM on March 14, 2008


Gary, you bastard, now I'll be wandering around for days with the fucktarded Mr Belvedere theme song in my head . . .

. . . when you dropkicked your jacket as you came through the door, no one glaaaared . . .

Okay, so does anyone want to hear me read from the eight-part, heavily footnoted monograph I composed mostly in my head while working on my senior thesis back in '96, when Mr. Belvedere was the only thing on at 4:30 in the morning, which monograph makes a compelling argument that Mr. Belvedere was the sort of apotheosis of '80s sitcoms, in the sense that if you took every other '80s sitcom and simmered it on low for about three days like a hearty mystery meat stew, Mr Belvedere is what you'd have glommed to the sides of your pot at the end? Anyone? It involves a sort of gnostic reading of the gaps between Wesley's teeth for their broader sociocultural . . . aw, fuck it . . .

*hums the tuba melody*

. . . according to our new arrival, life is more than mere survival . . .

On preview: billyfleetwood, you might be wrong about it not taking a pro, but you're right about the Cheers-to-Lost mash-up being potential comedy gold. Get on that, will ya?

And Gary, your baseless slurs against the wonder, the beauty and the horror of The Sopranos' final season only confirm my hunch that anyone who would so cavalierly plant the Mr Belvedere theme song in my head is not to be trusted.
posted by gompa at 11:03 AM on March 14, 2008


I'd just like to mention that Silver Spoons is on demand right now if you have Comcast. Good times.
posted by Big_B at 11:05 AM on March 14, 2008


I have no way of listening to the theme tune at work so can someone tell me whether it is better than Joey Scarbury's "Theme from The Greatest American Hero (Believe It or Not)" before I waste more of my (not particularly) precious time?
posted by longbaugh at 11:09 AM on March 14, 2008


And Gary, your baseless slurs against the wonder, the beauty and the horror of The Sopranos' final season...

Season 6 (parts 1 & 2) had 21 episodes. There are about 13 episodes worth of material that could have made it the best season of the series. There's also about 8 episodes worth of dragged out story lines (Vito spent about four too many episodes in New Hampshire), go nowhere storylines (has AJ finally turned his life around? nope, try again next week), and Daniel Baldwin cameos.
posted by Gary at 11:17 AM on March 14, 2008


In their defense, if you're trying to make a funny internet video it's easier to come up with a catchy jingle than than a really memorable instrumental.

Heavy Metal Knight Rider disagrees
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:17 AM on March 14, 2008


Didn't most 80s shows flash the title near the beginning of the theme sequence, as opposed to the end like they do here?

Also, we totally need a closing theme reprise, with more lead guitar in place of the vocals. Yes.
posted by chrominance at 11:19 AM on March 14, 2008


Season 6 (parts 1 & 2) had 21 episodes. There are about 13 episodes worth of material that could have made it the best season of the series. There's also about 8 episodes worth of dragged out story lines (Vito spent about four too many episodes in New Hampshire), go nowhere storylines (has AJ finally turned his life around? nope, try again next week), and Daniel Baldwin cameos.

I am familiar with the arguments that the Vito subplot, AJ crackup and (another common complaint) parallel-universe-Tony digression were drags on the usual mobster mayhem and ziti feasting. Much like the obvious but categorically wrong argument that Bob Uecker was the star of Mr Belvedere when Wesley was so clearly the gap-toothed soul of the show, those Sopranos critiques hold no real water, at least not in my pail.

The aimless destruction thing (self- and otherwise) going on with AJ, for example, was instrumental to the amplification of the themes of decadence, confusion and decay that made the finale such an orchestral crescendo and such a ferocious indictment of the value system of post-9/11 America. (I bet I could finesse Daniel Baldwin - pointedly the most banal of Baldwins - into this argument, but I don't want to overstretch on a lazy Friday . . .)

Reasonable people can disagree, but I'll still call them wrong.
posted by gompa at 11:30 AM on March 14, 2008


I think you'd have a hard time proving "most", because a lot of them did. Diff'rent Strokes, Facts of Life, Growing Pains, Family Ties

Family Ties. Worst. Theme. EVAR.

What would we do without us? We wouldn't exist. We'd nonexistently be in Nirvana.

I mean, I'm not dense. I know what they mean. But it's an mind-wrenchingly awful turn of phrase, and they keep shoving it down my throat like a rolled-up porno mag.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:46 AM on March 14, 2008


"around 40"

40 LEFT???? crap, I'm gonna die before they get that many out..and would have forgotten the first ones anyway...
posted by HuronBob at 11:58 AM on March 14, 2008


I liked the part where Pam and Jim got together.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:58 AM on March 14, 2008


No sitcom theme is worse than Hello Larry's. It's saying "we're the most banal and shallow comedy on TV and if you choose to consume this program you might as well follow it with a shotgun chaser because your existence is void of meaning."

---

Well, Hello Larry (Hello Larry..)
You talk to people all day for a living (Hello Larry..)
But all those easy answers you are giving..
Are you really living your life that way?
Portland is a long way from L.A. (A long way)

Hello Larry (Hello Larry..)
Two kids to raise alone just ain't that easy (Hello Larry..)
The questions they are asking aren't that breezy
The answers you are giving don't always pay
But that's the way it is with kids today

The calls are comin'in
You better start to grin
'Cos you never know just what they're gonna say
(Hello Larry..) Hello Larry
(Hello Larry..) Hello Larry
(Hello Larry..) Well..Hello Larry!
posted by bunnytricks at 12:06 PM on March 14, 2008


Much like the obvious but categorically wrong argument that Bob Uecker was the star of Mr Belvedere when Wesley was so clearly the gap-toothed soul of the show

You know what's odd? I've always dismissed Mr. Belevedere as just another throw-away show from the 80s. I never realized there was a 1947 novel, a trilogy of movies in the 40s and three previous attempts at a show in the 50s and 60s (Wikipedia). Reading about Leon Redbone also makes me feel not so bad about the many times the theme was stuck in my head.
posted by Gary at 12:13 PM on March 14, 2008


I am familiar with the arguments that the Vito subplot, AJ crackup and (another common complaint) parallel-universe-Tony digression were drags on the usual mobster mayhem and ziti feasting.

I didn't mind the parallel-universe Tony. Tony with an out-of-nowhere gambling problem that only lasted two episodes felt like a "very special episode" not unlike an 80s tv show.
posted by Gary at 12:51 PM on March 14, 2008


Well, thanks, Gary, I had no idea about this Leon Redbone dude and his connection to the Uecker clan.

That's the thing about Mr Belvedere: it's an enigma wrapped in a riddle, shrouded in mystery. All snuggled within an appalling sweater.
posted by gompa at 1:27 PM on March 14, 2008


baseless slurs against the wonder, the beauty and the horror of The Sopranos' final season

Was the kid taking a shit in the gym shower at school and then stepping in it part of the beauty, or the wonder?
posted by kirkaracha at 1:39 PM on March 14, 2008


The horror, obviously.
posted by gompa at 2:13 PM on March 14, 2008


Whenever the subject of alternate themes for TV shows comes up, I'm brought back to the behind the scenes on one of the Stargate DVDs, where they reveal that someone wrote lyrics to the title track:

Stargate,
It’s a great big world... With a great big swirl
that you step inside, to another world.


Unfortunately, as stupid and silly as it is, it's an earworm that will burrow deeply into your head and stay there, lurking... waiting to spring out when you least expect it.
posted by quin at 2:17 PM on March 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh: this thing does nail one thing. 80s theme songs of all stripes went on way to fucking long.
posted by absalom at 2:21 PM on March 14, 2008


What bugs me about Lost haters, cause my office is full of em, is how they bitch and moan about no answers, then mention that they stopped in season 2. What? The writers were supposed to give you all the solutions and answers to the questions they raised that early on? Then why would you watch after that?

So many people complain about TV being too dumb or addressing the lowest common denominator and then when a show that requires intelligence, memory, fugal storytelling, etc (not to mention gorgeous cinematography, a symphonic score, etc) comes along they complain about it being too hard. This is intelligent storytelling...for FREE...so why complain? Plus Juliet is kinda hot.

Wow. That's some serious hate you are throwing around. Look, if you dont like it, dont watch it and please shut up about it. But the show does NOT suck. You CAN follow it if you miss a few episodes, and they ARE giving answers (this season alone we have answers to most of season 1 and 2 questions...except the black smoke). So even when the writers listen, and react appropriately, people complain.

If you could do better, go pitch a pilot to the networks. Not only is it hard to do so, but hard to keep an audience watching, and hard to win Emmy's. So give those guys some respect! For a bunch of self-proclaimed experts, you sure dont know what you are talking about.

(I am a Lost lover. Just to be clear)
posted by Dantien at 2:34 PM on March 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


tkchrist: "OHHHHH no you don't. I'm not falling for it again. "Hey TK give BSG another chance... they're putting Baltar on trial!" And then what happens? SUCK FEST! I was betrayed twice by BSG and damned if I'm gonna get suckered by LOST.


... Soooooo... 'the Constant' was that name of the episode?
"

Muahahaha... you shouldn't resist. It is too awesome. Crazy temporal weirdness and new characters and death and amnesia and true love and ACTUAL SCIENCE. There are also a few answers in this episode, or at least a suggestion of a hint of the possibility of some answers. But it is so worth it. They pack so much, so well, into such a short amount of time. It was a masterpiece of television writing. Those writers deserve every penny they get.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:04 PM on March 14, 2008


Dantien: I agree. Also: I think a lot of the problem came from the network end. A common complaint I hear is that "they were just drawing it out" because there was no hard and fast end date, and the network had the ultimate say on when the run would end, not the writers. That much, at least, was addressed by what I thought was a pretty clever contract to run the series out. Then the strike happened.

In fact, I was talking about this with my stepdad just yesterday, since until around the midpoint of season 3, he was saying the same thing.* My best way of answering those complaints is to imagine a microscope, and each season basically draws the zoom out one level. [Low grade spoiler material ahead, the asterisk is mostly safe, since season 1 spoilers are passe.]

Season one is about the ensemble and their stories. (Island, for this discussion, is part of the ensemble.) Season two draws out and explores "just whose shit is this everywhere?" Season three draws out a little more and deals with "just what are these people all about?" So: Survivors, Others, then Island and now, season four seems to be dealing with the outside world, which still works for the metaphor.

I think i'm particularly drawn to the character of [REDACTED]. He's the quintessential mastermind of the most wonderful variety, high manipulation, nested schemes, and all.

* I think season two featured a long spate of character development stories just after popping the hatch. Much later, of course, most of that development would play plot dividends, but at the time it did feel a noticeable slowdown.
posted by absalom at 3:24 PM on March 14, 2008


I'd like it to go on the record that abusive writing in hour-long action/mystery/dramas has got to stop. As a survivor of Carnivale, I can't tolerate it and I can't stand by while other audience members are bullied by television writers. The only purpose for Jin's subplot was to dick the audience over. It was like a spouse hitting you in the head with a frying pan, and then saying, "I do it because I just love you so damned much."

Don't hit loved ones over the head with frying pans! And you who just got hit, don't apologize for that violent behavior! And you, TV writers, don't waste my time and exploit my empathy for your characters just to play cheap narrative tricks on me with your TV show.

(Also, I'm feeling like Brian K Vaughan's addition has been a zero sum. For everything he brings to the table that's good, he also seems to be bringing in terrible things like the cheap comic book surprise character reveal. Again... don't pretend like these abuses aren't abuse.)
posted by pokermonk at 3:25 PM on March 14, 2008


Oh, shit: I also meant to add, you are all fucking crazy. It's nine of the first ten hits for a search of "Season Three Finale" on google. That meeeeeeans something! Also, the twist blew me away.
posted by absalom at 3:25 PM on March 14, 2008


Thanks for the contribution pokermonk. Very helpful. Your random association of a plot with spousal abuse really seems accurate. Clearly the writers are abusing us with free entertainment. I'm so pleased you spoke up about this affront.

I thought the conceit last night was clever (since, you know, it was the first time they did it!) and brought an emotional resonance for me. Of course, I just had my first child a month ago so the whole birth of Sun's baby, without Jin there, was super emotional. I experienced her fear (to some extent. My poor wife went through it) with the emergency cesarean and such. And clearly that wasnt applicable to the surprise ending...it was purely abuse. Yup! Thanks for being a sweet guy with a calm and measured contribution to this thread.
posted by Dantien at 3:45 PM on March 14, 2008


Pokermonk's poor metaphors aside, he does make a good point. What exactly was the purpose of Jin's plot line other than to jerk the audience around? It advances no storylines and doesn't tell us anything about him. Or the point of her yelling out for Jin in her plot line?

I like the show. But we're skimming very close to the territory of "oh, episodes 3 and 7 were just a dream. gotcha!"
posted by Gary at 3:58 PM on March 14, 2008


Is there any show with a greater love-hate relationship with its fanbase than LOST? Well, aside from NFL football and The O'Really Factor? Sometimes I actually yell at the damn TV when it's on.



Was the kid taking a shit in the gym shower at school and then stepping in it part of the beauty, or the wonder?
posted by kirkaracha at 4:39 PM on March 14 [+] [!]


I skip the last season of The Sopranos, just in time to miss the wafflestomping? Go me! <pats self on back>
posted by notashroom at 3:59 PM on March 14, 2008


Just started watching Season One a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of abc's streaming site.

The dialogue is painfully predictable, the twists aren't all that twisty.

But I keep watching it. I keep watching it. And I can't stop.

Maybe Gilligan's Island just needed guns.
posted by darth_tedious at 4:13 PM on March 14, 2008


I've enjoyed Lost this season with the exception of Locke. His dialog is off, and he's behaving in a very unLocke manner. No longer the capable and hard as nails mystic with daddy issues, he's now just a confused bully and it's a detriment to the show.

Also, WTF is up with Faraday being able to painlessly unscrew the nosecone from what should have been an extremely friction heated rocket seconds after it landed? I guess it's just a show and I should really just relax but every time I see him it bothers me.

And does the fact that he's a Charlie clone play into the bad twin concept? I've not seen a mention of this on any lost blogs I read so maybe I'm not imagining it.
posted by bunnytricks at 4:14 PM on March 14, 2008


err notjust
posted by bunnytricks at 4:15 PM on March 14, 2008


Jin's flashback was to make the audience think he was trying to get to the hospital for Sun and was a bit of the Kansas City Shuffle making you look one way, they surprising you with the flashforward revelation.

They did the same thing, in a sense, in the Season 3 finale with Jack. Jin's plot wasnt superfluous, it added impact and resonance to the final scene.
posted by Dantien at 4:38 PM on March 14, 2008


bunnytricks, yeah, that's clearly a mistake with the rocket. It is just TV after all and so we shouldnt take it too seriously.
posted by Dantien at 4:38 PM on March 14, 2008


Family Ties. Worst. Theme. EVAR.

What would we do without us? We wouldn't exist.



sha-na-na-naaaaaaaaaaaa!
posted by CitizenD at 4:58 PM on March 14, 2008


I love Locke. He's my favorite character on the show and always has been.

If it were me writing the show, the last season would end with Locke merging with the Smoke Monster like Leto at the end of Children of Dune. He'd be walking around 20 feet tall and shooting lighting bolts out of his eyes and fighting polar bears with his bare hands.
posted by empath at 5:09 PM on March 14, 2008 [6 favorites]


empath,

Right on. Locke is on a journey and sometimes we have to get Lost (get it?) to find our way. His behavior now is the same as it was in the Hatch in Season 2. I love his character and, mistakes or not, I would definitely have gone to New Otherton with him and not stay with Jack.

When the finale episode of Locke shooting lightning bolts out of his eyes comes on, I'll be cheering for you!

(proud to say I personally know Michael Emerson, so every scene with him and Locke just thrills me)
posted by Dantien at 5:16 PM on March 14, 2008


Come and knock on our door
We've been waiting for you
Where the kisses are hers and hers and his (and all of their's)
48's Company too!
posted by bwg at 5:21 PM on March 14, 2008


I hope the producers leave room for a spin off series in the spirit of the A-Team, with Smoke Monster Locke as BA Barracas, Sayid as Faceman, Danielle as Murdock, and Ben as Hannibal. They could travel around small town America righting wrongs and blowing everything up.
posted by bunnytricks at 5:31 PM on March 14, 2008


Dantien: I agree. One of the things I find interesting about Lost is how the characters really *don't* grow. By which I mean, in most fiction, you get character + conflict = growth. All of the losties fall back into the same behaviors, make the same mistakes, and so forth. It's frustrating to watch sometimes, since I'm such a Locke fan, but it makes sense to me. He falls into the same patterns. Clarity followed by obstruction followed by self doubt followed by cataclysmic implosion.

You really know Michael Emmerson, eh? Well, pass along my appreciation for the genius of his portrayal. My parents can barely stand to watch him on the screen, he's so compellingly, unassumingly menacing and unsettling.
posted by absalom at 5:45 PM on March 14, 2008


I think people don't get Locke-- he represents Nature. He's neither good nor bad, he's just the embodiment of the will of the island.
posted by empath at 5:57 PM on March 14, 2008


I just watched "Constant."

I have only this to say.

First: For fucks sake people! Who in this day and age doesn't have Temporal Displacement Safeword? I have. Surely most MeFites do to. The number of times I have avoided the seconds wasting confusion of "Is this or is this not a time traveler with a message from my past/future self?"

Second: Can people on LOST please stop being coy and spit out some facts of what has happened to them. Like actually talk about shit in full god damned unencrypted sentences. Third: When somebody acts freaky again in what is yet another series of freakish events that you should be pretty used to it's likely best to not respond to them by — screaming at them, immediately hitting them with a pipe or branch, or shooting them up with drugs.

Fourth: I like the nice love story at the end. That was nice. For once they had actors who could do the 'poignant" thing right.
posted by tkchrist at 6:05 PM on March 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jin's plot wasnt superfluous, it added impact and resonance to the final scene.

Agreed. Simple math meant she had to be the last of the "Oceanic Six," we knew it wasn't going to end happily. Also, for people knew to the show that hadn't seen any of the Jin/Sun flashback episodes, they needed some frame of reference for old Jin v new Jin.
I don't think he's really dead, though.

Tangent: Since watching this show, I've always referred to Josh Holloway as a poor (wo)man's Viggo Mortensen. Then last night, we meet the Captain, who's a poor (wo)man's Daniel Craig. I have no point to this, other than to say: Yay, Captain. Let's have more Captain, less Sawyer.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:10 PM on March 14, 2008


I think people don't get Locke-- he represents Nature. He's neither good nor bad, he's just the embodiment of the will of the island.

Or the will of the people of the island, without which they cannot be governed. Individuals group together to cede some of their individual rights to government, in exchange for some social order. Speaking of individuals and social contracts...can someone remind me what happened to Rousseau?
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:25 PM on March 14, 2008


Also, Sawyer sure does rip his shirt off a lot, doesn't he?

He's the Island's McConaughey.
posted by hjo3 at 7:25 PM on March 14, 2008


I don't see how simple math shows he was not one of them? By my count, there's still one unrevealed:

[MAJOR SPOILERS]



1. Jack
2. Kate
3. Sayid
4. Hurley
5. Sun
6. ???

Ben does not count, he was not on the flight
Aaron does not count, he was born on the island and was not a passenger.
posted by absalom at 7:50 PM on March 14, 2008


Last night's episode was like a really awful soap opera, with occasional "action" scenes and tons of narrative cheap shots.

I had given up on Lost a while back, but found myself in a room where it was being watched last night. Whoever made the comparison to an abusive relationship up above was spot-on; by the end of the episode I felt like I'd been punched in the back of the head, which is to say I had a slight headache and was extremely annoyed.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:07 PM on March 14, 2008


I'm willing to bet that Michael is the last member of O6.
posted by drezdn at 8:09 PM on March 14, 2008


Oh, good. Finally I have a chance to post this amalgam of every Sawyer nickname from seasons 1-3.

Also, find out your own Sawyer nickname from Sawyer's Nickname Generator. (I'm Whiteout!)
posted by Locative at 8:27 PM on March 14, 2008


... find out your own Sawyer nickname ...

Bubblehead?
posted by bwg at 8:32 PM on March 14, 2008


I've enjoyed Lost this season with the exception of Locke. His dialog is off, and he's behaving in a very unLocke manner.

I saw an interview online with where Terry O'Quinn admitted he had been complaining because he didn't like the direction Locke was going. Apparently his thought Locke was off too, and his big beef in particular was that he didn't want to do the scene where Locke stabs Naomi in the back, his argument being that Locke would never have done that. Apparently Damon Lindeloff responded, "Yes he would. So he does." and since he likes getting paid, Terry backed down and has since come to terms with the change in Locke's personality by repeatedly saying, "I like to think he 'got religion' and people do crazy things when they 'get religion.'"

BTW, if you didn't love Michael Emerson before, this will do it.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:54 PM on March 14, 2008


The best theory I ever heard about what the fuck is going on in Lost I read here. It makes so much sense I almost get the feeling that somebody ripped this out of the series bible and posted it on the internet without permission. For those too lazy to click the damned link, it goes as as follows.

The island is largely black rock - a naturally occurring magnetic mineral. It has the uncanny property of storing electromagnetic currents - like a big magnetic tape.

Magnus Hanso - grandfather of Alvar Hanso and venture capitalist - captained his ship The Black Rock to the island in the nineteenth century. He intended to use slaves and dynamite to mine the fabled black rock and sell it. However, he was caught in a storm - as many have been near the island - and was shipwrecked.

He survived, but the slaves were lost. Whilst making a boat to leave the island, Magnus thought he could hear the screams of his cargo as the ship sank. He thought the melancholy would pass, but it did not; in fact, it was as though he could literally hear their thoughts in the last moments of their lives - even in their foreign tongue.

The whispers, the voices, the memories were stronger in those areas that were predominantly black rock. They were coming from the black rock itself. As lava cools it records the earth’s pattern of magnetic currents at the time; in a similar way, the black rock was storing all electromagnetic activity - light, sound, thought, memory.

Of greater significance to Magnus was that the black rock also held the pattern of the future. Magnus was able to faintly sense how things would be.

Magnus made a boat, returned home, kept his mouth shut about what he’d discovered, and bought the island. He came back many times and was able to navigate the safest approach. On the island, he would meditate on what the future held - what the rock was telling him - and then commit this to paper. He would then return to centres of commerce and use these predictions to speculate and invest in forthcoming wars, selling munitions. He amassed a great fortune. The secret of the island and the wealth was passed down through the Hanso family to Alvar Hanso in the 20th century.

. . .

A mathematician named Valenzetti calculated a mathematical formula for the end of the world, the ‘core numbers’ of which are 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. These numbers occur everywhere, he said, and predict earth’s destruction. This finding was presented to the United Nations; they did not believe or care and so discarded it.

Alvar learnt of this formula and knew that it was correct as it correlated with what the island had revealed to him. He enlisted the help of Valenzetti and many others to form the DHARMA Initiative, the purpose of which was to change these numbers - and so avert the predicted destruction of earth.

DHARMA was based on the island. Although the organisation was highly secretive, Alvar felt he had to share the island for the greater good of mankind. The greatest scientists he could find were brought to the island - as were gifted children who had great mental ability bordering on psychic.

Various stations were set up on the island to perform these experiments: the objective of which was to change Fate itself. One experiment was the Swan; initially, it was just a Skinner Box - a psychological experiment to test two subjects’ willingness to repeatedly press a button because they were told it was important. The intention here was to see if their faith in their ‘duty’ was sufficient to budge Fate a millimetre. It didn’t work.

Another station - the Pearl - was set up. This experiment was based on another pair of subjects who were told to observe the actions of the occupants of the Swan. The objective here, based on Quantum Theory, was to see if - by observation alone - the outcome of the Swan could be affected. It was not and neither was Fate.

. . .

It was decided to try and dam the flow of Destiny from the island to the outside world - to stop the current.

Jacob was selected as the most gifted child. He was able to move small objects with his mind, which is shown in the Orientation film.
It was hoped that if the rock could store human memory electromagnetically then, perhaps, the reverse could happen and a human mind could absorb this electromagnetic memory from the rock. The intention was always to change Destiny.

Jacob was placed at the epicentre of the island’s power in an underground chamber. Powered up, wired up, and observed by a team of scientists including Dr Marvin Candle, Jacob attempted to absorb Destiny from the black rock. Unfortunately, he failed; there was an explosion, referred to later as the “incident”.

At that moment, Jacob lost all corporeal form and was merged with the black rock itself. But he survived. His consciousness was embedded in broken fragments of the rock. His consciousness was able to move objects - as he had in human form… but now it meant he could lift himself - in the form of rock fragments and move freely. The naturally-ocurring electromagnetic field around the area of the Swan assisted in his mobility and sustained his life.

Jacob was able to move as a black cloud of dust and re-form himself into different shapes. He soon learnt that he could also use electromagnetism to conjure up images and sound. And later still, that he could ‘read minds’ as we saw he did with Eko.

DHARMA had failed in changing Destiny for the better and had actually made things worse by creating a massive anomaly. Alvar was despondent. He and his wife returned to the island to die. They laid themselves down in two alcoves and allowed Jacob to peacefully end them. In Alvar’s pocket was a pouch containing two stones - one black and one white - one for him and one for his wife. They thought that if they could, after death, find these two stones and reside in them as separate consciousnesses then they would allow Jacob to absorb them into his form. As long as the black rock existed, they would be immortal. It worked; and Jacob became a ‘three-headed’ entity, referred to as ‘Cerberus’ on the blast door map created by Radzinsky. (Cerberus was the three-headed guard dog of Greek mythology).

. . .

The ‘incident’ (as described by Dr Marvin Candle - who lost an arm - in the Orientation film) now necessitated the periodic release of the electromagnetism. The periodic build-up of power sustained Jacob/Cerberus and allowed for continued analysis of Destiny by the remaining scientists; the periodic release prevented another disaster. The whole area of the ‘incident’ was concreted. And now the Swan had a genuine use: to release electromagnetism every 108 minutes to an orbiting satellite with a 5 minute pass-over. For this task they conscripted the help of two people they knew to be spies: Radzinsky and Inman for USSR and USA respectively.

They realised they could not - or should not - try to change Destiny. However, the long-term effect of the incident was to create an anomaly in Destiny that might itself be the cause of the predicted cataclysm on earth. This needed to be corrected now. The anomaly had pulled in a ship of scientists - including a pregnant Rousseau - and shipwrecked it. [What was left of] DHARMA realised that this ship was never ‘meant’ to be shipwrecked on the island and that their meddling with Destiny would create anomalies of wider and potentially more dangerous significance.

The scientists sought to correct their mistake before it snowballed. It was a difficult task to perform without screwing up Destiny further but they had the resources.

. . .

Bea Kulgh, a DHARMA initiate, sensed a shift from an idealistic community in ‘Otherville’ towards a totalitarian cult headed by a powerful triumvirate leader. She reached out for others who felt the same, but it was impossible - any disobedience meant being brainwashed in the re-programming room (where we saw Carl). During her tour of duty in the Pearl, which was still active at the time, she was able to secretly communicate with Radzinsky and Inman via the computer. She fed them information from which - with their own reconnaissance - they were able to produce a map of the island and the hatches, which John Locke saw on the blast door in Lockdown. They removed part of the Orientation film that forbade communication via the computer so that, if they were found out and replaced, their replacements would not be hindered by that rule. And they formulated a plan to escape.

Radzinsky had been seeing images of his past - as all of the Losties have. He saw people he had tortured whilst working for the KGB. These visions were actually produced by Jacob/Cerberus. The point of the visions was as intense, life-changing therapy. It is believed that a person can overcome their own past, nature and fears to transcend into something pure and fit for DHARMA. Radzinsky had been seeing visions of a person he had tortured; he had cut out the prisoner’s eye.

The culmination of the ‘therapy’ is a Test. We saw Eko fail his Test by refusing to repent for his past - this ended badly for him when he chased after Jacob/Cerberus. We also saw Hurley fail his test when he refused to take a leap of faith off a cliff - as urged by his imaginary-turned-real friend Dave.

Radzinsky’s Test was to cut out his own eye - “an eye for an eye”. He knew none of this was real, but they had a plan to escape for which he would do anything. Kneeling before his victim, as Eko would do, Radzinsky used Inman’s US Army knife to cut out his own eye, thereby passing the Test.

. . .

When Radzinsky awoke, he was greeted by Benjamin Linus and the other Others. He was given a tour of ‘Otherville’, told the rough outline of DHARMA and what it meant. He was given a glass eye and was put to work. He appeared to be receptive to DHARMA’s aims but, in reality, all he wanted was to escape. He proceeded with the plan.

At the right time, he blew up the Arrow hatch, killing several people. He radioed Inman, in the Swan, immediately and ran across the island towards him. It did not take long before Jacob/Cerberus tracked him down, but he timed it right so that his dash would coincide with the rain showers to give him the biggest headstart possible.

Radzinsky made it to the Swan where Inman had prepared the trap. It was dark by now, and a bright light shone from the hatch; Jacob/Cerberus followed it down. Inman could see Jacob/Cerberus through his array of mirrors from the safe vantage point of the Swan lounge area. He saw Jacob/Cerberus approach; Jacob/Cerberus moved toward the open door. Radzinsky fused the lockdown door bringing it crashing down and turned the water on. The area outside the door - where Jacob/Cerberus was - filled with water. An exposed fusebox near the ladder caused a massive electrical current to pass through Jacob/Cerberus. Unfortunately, a small part of Jacob/Cerberus got under the door before being completely disabled. This part reformed as someone from Inman’s past - a daughter perhaps, or a fallen comrade - whoever it was, Inman had not yet had the visions and was frozen with emotion. He could not act to destroy this loved one in front of him and would not heed Radzinksy’s frantic pleading that it was not real and that they needed to escape now while they could. Radzinsky left him behind.

[The fusebox and water pipe are seen by Jack the very first time he goes down the hatch ladder - season 2, episode 1.]

Radzinsky continued with the plan and left the Swan with the film cutting. He made his way to the Flame where he knew he would be able to communicate with the outside world and be rescued. When he got there, he was surprised to find it deserted and, what was more bizarre, prepared for him: there was a plentiful supply of Vodka, there was a computer that played chess, there was a cat, there was even a picture of Nadia Comaneci on the wall - the Olympic gymnast who shared his birthday. He sat in front of a bank of monitors and began trying to reach the outside world - it had been such a long time. Flicking through the channels, it became apparent that the Berlin Wall had fallen and so had the Soviet Union with it. Communication was pointless. He spent the next few days in a drunken stupor. At last, Benjamin and the Others came to him.

They agreed on a truce; he had killed some of them but he could not be held completely responsible as he had not passed the Test in truth and had not been truly ready to join DHARMA. They allowed him to live so long as he never came to their camp, never fraternised with any of them, and worked at the Flame as their communications man. He would be completely autonomous, with his own livestock. He asked about Inman; they told him that Inman had been ‘persuaded’ that Radzinsky had killed himself - they had placed a faceless corpse in the Swan for him to discover when he woke up, which he would assume to be Radzinsky’s and so bury him without questioning.

At this point, the cat changed shape becoming a swirling mass of black dust - it was Jacob/Cerberus albeit temporarily smaller. Jacob/Cerberus renamed Radzinsky as Bakunin - after the famous Russian anarchist - as he had rejected his leadership. He told him that his trap in the Swan had interfered with the release of electromagnetism and had created another anomaly: a light aircraft from Nigeria was brought down. The crashing of a small plane and the loss of a few lives in itself might not be such an anomaly - as Destiny can ‘course-correct’ to a certain extent - what was more problematic was that the plane was carrying drugs. The consequence of the plane crashing - when it had never been destined to crash - was that there would be a massive slump in supply of the drug, affecting many more lives (including Charlie’s) - and the knock-on effect was incalculable.

Bakunin was tasked with tracking down the effects of the anomaly as it spread through the world and to profile each person whose life would be significantly affected by it. These people were connected one way or another to this crash or to each other and the anomaly would ripple outwards creating greater and greater waves. Bakunin tracked them down using the Flame. These people were - one way or another - put on the same plane at the same time and brought to the island so that Destiny could be corrected…. Jack, Kate, Charlie, Sawyer, Rose and the rest of Flight 815. Destiny and DHARMA were course-correcting.

. . .

Bakunin returned to the burnt out Arrow station. He was remorseful. He deposited his hollowed-out Bible containing the film cutting, his glass eye which had been a gift from DHARMA, and the radio he had used to communicate with his friend Inman.

. . .

When Desmond turned the failsafe key in the Swan and caused it to implode, he was rescued by Jacob/Cerberus, but not before he had absorbed much of the Swan’s power. Now, DESmond does not see the future but DEStiny - how things are planned to happen - not necessarily how they will happen.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:54 PM on March 14, 2008 [7 favorites]


One of the things I find interesting about Lost is how the characters really *don't* grow. By which I mean, in most fiction, you get character + conflict = growth. All of the losties fall back into the same behaviors, make the same mistakes, and so forth.

See, um, that's called writing for television. TV writing is all about incremental character growth, on a very small scale -- because once the character is done developing, then their story is over, they cease to have inner conflict, and they stop being interesting to watch. That's pretty much true for all narrative television. It's why I write features. Movies are all about compressed development in two hours or less.
posted by incessant at 10:13 PM on March 14, 2008


For those too lazy to click the damned link, it goes as as follows.

Nice job -- if they're too lazy to click on the link, then surely they aren't too lazy to read all four million words of that post. Well done!
posted by incessant at 10:16 PM on March 14, 2008


Effigy2000 said: *snips silly long theory*

Wow, that was interesting. I don't really buy all of it (especially the whole Jacob/smoke monster bit. Why would they have a sonar fence to keep the monster out of the complex if Ben chills with the guy in his cabin?). At any rate, I am just enthralled by this season. Whoever is casting this show should be put in charge of all casting for all filmed entertainment. EVERY actor who has been introduced this season is interesting and distinct (the boat doctor especially). And if there was some kind of honor for the Grand Unified Theory of Acting then Michael Emerson has that shit locked up. I've never seen somebody portray so many different emotions so well. Also, it's nice to see a weird looking guy essentially be the star of one of the most popular shows on tevee.
posted by lattiboy at 11:23 PM on March 14, 2008


I'm willing to bet that Michael is the last member of O6.

See, I wasn't sure if the baby counted or not. That's why it wasn't "simple math". I wouldn't bet on it being Michael. Whatever excuse they used to explain Walt returning (if he does, if he's alive, etc) would probably involve Michael somehow.
posted by Gary at 12:17 AM on March 15, 2008


incessant: Oh, I'm not complaining. It's the reason I find several of the characters so realistic because we as people do not encounter conflict and get better, we keep tripping over the same stumbling blocks, keep repeating the same behaviors, keep dropping the same balls. Eventually, hopefully, some of them will break those cycles, but the way characters find ways to continually botch their chances at redemption are one of the reasons I love lost the way I do. I mean, it's pretty standard trope, the reason you punish the characters you love is to see what they are made of. In the case of lost, the stuff they are made of is usually not the stuff of legends and glory. It's self doubt and self loathing. How much more human can you get? After all, I've argued on several occasions that Lost is a Sci-Fi Victorian adventure, complete with coincidental meetings, improbably overlaps, and glacial character development. It's the reason I enjoy well crafted, character driven television serials: it's the closest one can come, I think, to a visualized novel.
posted by absalom at 12:37 AM on March 15, 2008


I happily let that show give me a good mind fuck. (Also I'm getting slower, I didn't even get the whole "It's Clair's baby oh my gosh" till the show told me it was)

Even though we all knew it was going to be Micheal I still yelled "NOOOOOOO" at the screen.
posted by collocation at 10:03 AM on March 15, 2008


I feel bad for Harold Perrineau. He's being interviewed saying stuff like, "I hope people see Michael's return and think, 'Oh, this is gonna be good...!" but instead my first reaction was, "Jesus, go away Michael. I still don't like you."
posted by miss lynnster at 9:50 PM on March 15, 2008


"...find out your own Sawyer nickname..."

Prince Charles!?? That's the best nick Sawyer could come up with for me? I'm so disappointed.

Right now, LOST is the only TV show I bother watching regularly. It is a shining beacon amidst a sea of bacon. Not good bacon. Old cold grizzled bacon that's been sitting out too long and your dog wouldn't sniff it. Most television is pathetic and insulting. LOST is fun, intelligent entertainment.

It's good to see Michael back. Granted, he killed Libby but he also killed Ana Lucia, so he's only half bad. My only concern is that somehow the Others have kidnapped his son again. If the writers make Michael shout his son's name one more time, I may have to mail my television set to Carlton Cuse with a stick of dynamite inside it.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:24 PM on March 16, 2008


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