Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TBG TV: Lost -- "The Substitute"

If you missed it last week, m'man Joe Reid posted an excellent take on the early direction of Lost's sixth and final season. Worth a look for fans of the show.

Three Things I Dug:

Happy-Go-Lockey: The opening (alternate) sequence with a wheelchair-bound Locke experiencing a series of sad-sack moments – and taking them all in stride – put a smile on my face. For the past five seasons, the Locke character has been written as pathetic and na├»ve – even when he seemed to be in control – so it was refreshing to see him laugh off his face-plant on the front lawn as the sprinklers came on.

Ben's Eulogy: Buh-rilliant. Michael Emerson's portrayal of Ben Linus – a man whose entire reason for being has been stripped from his soul – continues to be the best thing about this show. Ben may no longer know which end is up, but the realization that he and Locke were kindred spirits – to say nothing of the deadpan "sorry for murdering you" bit – was a nifty little sequence.

Princess Sun: If I remember correctly, it was Sun's idea to bury the real Locke ("Locke-thentic"? "Locke Classic"? He needs a differentiating nickname). In the next scene, it's Ilana and Ben who are carrying the corpse, followed by Ben and Lapidus digging the grave. Nary a bead of sweat broke across Sun's perpetually pouty countenance. Who knew "Sun" was Korean for "Mrs. Bootleg"?

Three Things I Didn't Dig:

Whiskey Sawyer: I loved the palpable tension between Jack and Sawyer in the season premiere from a few weeks back. Jack's grand plan had seemingly failed and it cost Juliet her life. Even though he later recanted, when Sawyer proclaimed that he was going to kill Jack in retaliation, it was one of the best delivered lines of the series' run. Instead, that conflict is broken off as Sawyer's been mired in a lampoon of the grieving boyfriend. Last week, he tossed Juliet's engagement ring into ocean. This week, he stared blankly into space while sipping whiskey in his underwear. (And, where the hell did he get an engagement ring? The Zales Station?)

The Hugo/Locke Payoff: I dunno, y'all. The timing of the (alternate) "Hugo owns the company" revelation seemed awfully convenient. The problem, to me, is that the writers spent an ungodly amount of time establishing these "six degrees" connections between the Oceanic passengers in the first few seasons. Unless they plan on addressing most, if not all of them in the next 12 weeks, the occasional reveal will keep coming off as cheap pandering. Does anything in the alternate timeline even count?

"You ain't Locke": One of the more frustrating things from last season was the way Sawyer's character was written. He started out as the bad-ass de facto leader of the 1977 castaways. Once Jack, Kate and Hurley arrived, Sawyer spectacularly lost his con-man mojo as his Dharma kingdom fell apart. Now, with the brownest of the brown liquors on his belly and still overtly grieving his true love, Sawyer can once again read a few ambiguous verbal cues and proclaim Fake Locke to be…fake? Come on.

The Verdict: Decent, but I'm still waiting for this season to get out of first gear. Mysterious children traipsing through the jungle and Ben Linus, European History teacher aren't exactly instilling me with excitement for next week.


SHough610 said...

1) I would totally watch a spin-off of Fake Locke and Sawyer hanging out, you could call it "Smokey and the Bandit".
2) I loved Sawyer being drunk off his ass and then climbing on a rickety ladder that was held together with dried island vines and hope.
3) It had been revealed in one of the earlier seasons that Hurley owned Locke's paper company :pushes glasses up bridge of nose:

That Bootleg Guy said...

Totally meant to steal that "Smokey and the Bandit" line from you when I read it on Twitter.

And, I know the Hurley/Locke things was an earlier reveal. I was referring to the moment when Hurley and Locke (or any of the other characters) actually become aware of these connections.

Can't wait for alternate Claire and Jack to have this conversation: "Wait, your dad's a drunk doctor named 'Christian', too? What're the odds!"

Joe said...

It's a little thing, but I thought it was cool how Locke's alarm clock in the alternate universe sounded just like the alarm in the Hatch when they don't push the button.

Anybody else catch the ladder was to Jacob's cave, hence it was Jacob's Ladder?

SHough610 said...

Joe, I liked the alarm clock bit as well. I also dug Flocke (Fake Locke) yelling "Dont tell me what I can't do!". Cam, Ben's line "sorry for murdering you" killed me and the ppl I watched with (tho I postulated that he said that a every funeral he went to).

I liked Locke being better off in LA X because Locke's my favorite character. My theory about LA X is that the difference is that Jacob hasn't interefered there.

Interestingly, Ben is the only character I'm interested in in LA X. Someone so Machiavellian and manipulative in a high school atmosphere interests me. But by and large LA X is of little interest to me.

Tom said...

It was mentioned in passing sometime in the early seasons that Hurley owned a "box company". I think his accountant talked him in to buying it or something. I was relatively certain that would be how Locke and Hurley would me in LA X.

Did you have the same moment I did when Locke grabbed a young black man by the elbow and assumed it'd be Walt?

Joe said...

My guess is that LA X is the true universe, but the Island Universe has to take place before it happens.

It's as if they are showing us bits and pieces of the ending of a movie while the movie is playing.

I loved Ben as the coffee Nazi.

throwdini said...

I think it is fair to say that whenever there is a young black actor in the LAX timeline, we all assume that he might be Walt. Not for a racist reason, but because we have no idea how they would portray a younger Walt.

Jeff Hansen said...

I'd assume the engagement ring really wasn't that hard to obtain. He just spent 3 years as an important member of Dharma, with a sub constantly going back and forth from the island.

mathan said...

"...dried island vines and hope."

Dude, where the hell is your blog and how soon can I read it?