Archive for May 17th, 2010

Getting Lost (Redux): Live Together, Die Alone

For a while after I first watched “Live Together, Die Alone,” the second season finale, it was my favorite episode of Lost. On a second complete viewing: Not so much.

It’s not that “Live Together, Die Alone” is bad, but on the heels of “Exodus” it feels a little slight as a finale. Also, compared to later season finales, this one is not really the game-changer it felt like at the time.

The best thing about “Live Together, Die Alone” is the first full inclusion of Desmond. Desmond was of course introduced back in the Season Two premiere, but we learned little about him, aside from the facts that he was Scottish, he likes to say “brotha,” and he pushes a button. His return in this episode—and the shot in which he first appears, with Jack staring down into cabin of Desmond’s boat, was a nice callback to the end of Season One, with Jack staring down into Desmond’s hatch—is both surprising and fitting. Continue reading

Survivor Survival Guide: Anything Can Happen

“King Arthur’s journey is officially ended.” –Coach

“The Heroes built it and the Villains burned it.” –Parvati

“This is how I hustle, this is how I make my money: I come out here and play Survivor. That’s what I’m best at.” –Sandra

“If she can win the game twice, there is a flaw in the game.” –Russell

Perhaps it was because it was clear that one of the two people I thought should win was going to win. Perhaps it was because the voting went almost exactly as I expected,* from five down to four down to three down to one. Or perhaps it was because I wrote those 2,000 fawning words about the euphoria of a Survivor season finale.

*Qualification time: I said “almost exactly.” Even though I said Parvati was the favorite, I thought we would get to a Final Three of Russell, Parvati, and Sandra, and that Sandra would win in that scenario (I thought 4-3-2 before the final tribal and 5-3-1 after it, with JT sticking with Russell. He didn’t.).

But I have to admit, there was something a little disappointing about last night’s finale. Let’s review it (you can also skip down to “The Disappointment of It All” if you think you’re above a quasi-analytical recap):

FROM FIVE TO FOUR

It started with highlights from the players’ previous Survivor experiences, and what struck me most was the difference in the reactions of Colby and Russell when they each lost. I had forgotten just how likable Colby was on Australia; I mean, he jumped up and fist-pumped the moment he lost because he was excited for Tina! What a guy! Russell, meanwhile, looked like the sorest loser in Survivor history–a designation he would add to later.

Continue reading

Monday Medley

What we read while wondering where Mo Williams will play next year…


  • Nate Silver computes a simple but cool “Value Over Replacement Justice” statistic to show by one measure that Elena Kagan was the right pick over Diane Wood. We’re not totally convinced Kagan is an “Organization Kid” but David Brooks writes an excellent column arguing that she is.
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