Posts Tagged ‘alternate timelines’

Getting Lost: Happily Ever After

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

As Bunk Moreland might say: Are you happy now, bitch? You know, it’s almost like the producers said, “Alright, fine, you think this season is starting to stall? Well, we’ll give you Desmond. And then we’ll throw Daniel Faraday in. And then we’ll throw in the clearest explanation of the Alternate Timelines to date.” Unlike “Ab Aeterno” from two weeks ago, which positioned itself as a mythology-heavy episode but didn’t really tell us much that we didn’t already know (with the notable exception being “cork”), “Happily Ever After” was quite the opposite. It was an episode that seemed like an repeat of a typical Lost formula but was actually more illuminated than any episode thus far this season.

How exactly did this seem like a repeat of a typical Lost formula? Well, in many ways this episode was exactly like the first Desmond-centric episode of the series, “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” In that episode, a “catastrophic electromagnetic event”—in that case the explosion of the hatch—sent Desmond’s consciousness into an alternate timeframe, in which he was still with Penny. Even though his life in that timeframe seems ostensibly better, though, he is forced to return because it is his purpose to return to the Island.

The same format, more or less, happened in “Happily Ever After.” In this episode, the electromagnetic event is merely an experiment done by Widmore’s new crew* to see if Desmond can, indeed, survive it. Instead of having the relationship he wants with Penny, he has the approval he craves from Widmore. And instead of simply going back in time, Desmond goes into the alternate version of 2004 that we’ve been seeing all season long. Continue reading

Getting Lost: Recon

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

Oh, so you finally got around to reviewing this week’s episode of Lost? Look, it’s NCAA Tournament time. That takes precedent. I mean, did you see yesterday’s games?

Given your record in yesterday’s action (6-10, four Sweet 16 teams out), why should we take anything you say about Lost seriously? Well, I’m not really saying you should, but I don’t know if there is any significant correlation between March Madness picks and Lost analysis.

They both involve predictions based on careful, deliberate analysis that end up completely negated by what appears to be random nonsense… Good point.

OK, can we please talk about something besides the NCAA Tournament for once? Ugh. Fine. Continue reading

Getting Lost: Dr. Linus

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

So, were you expecting Ben to die? I was, mainly because of the declaration in last week’s previews that this episode would see him “meet his demise.” So even after he ostensibly made peace with Ilana, I was half-expecting him to die some other way, either because Ilana had been lying, someone at the beach still harbored resentment at him (and let’s face it: pretty much everyone has a reason to kill Ben), or through some freak accident. After all, this show does have a history of jerking the audience around and fake-out endings.

I bet you were happy that he didn’t die, though, am I right? Of course. Ben is one of the most compelling characters on the show—why wouldn’t you keep him around? At the same time, this episode felt like kind of a waste. The main theme—Ben’s guilt over Alex’s death—was already dealt with in last season’s “Dead Is Dead,” and there wasn’t a whole lot of new stuff on that front: He still can’t forgive himself, and he still wants the Island to give him a chance to redeem himself. Continue reading

Getting Lost: Lighthouse

Ah....good times

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

So, do you think Jack “has what it takes”? Well, I’ve never been one of the many Lost fans who hates Jack. For the first two or three seasons, he was my favorite character on the show, since he often struck me as the only person on the Island who was rational, prudent, and not totally self-involved. Granted, he’s given to frustrating fits of stubbornness, like when he shattered Jacob’s mirror in last night’s episode, as opposed to waiting patiently to see what exactly the mission he and Hurley had been sent on was all about. But more often, Jack has done what it takes to keep survivors alive. It was Jack, after all, who coined “Live Together, Die Alone,” and it was Jack who found the drinking water, and it was Jack who saved Charlie, and it was Jack who helped spring Sawyer and Kate from the Others, etc. He fails just as often as he succeeds, and his failings are more memorable—like in his unyielding but doomed efforts to save Boone in Season One—but he always goes down swinging. This is what makes Jack both tragic and noble. Continue reading

Getting Lost: The Substitute

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

Hey! A Locke episode! Yeah, after an episode that left him out completely, we get an episode totally centered on John Locke, who I’ve already called the show’s most important character.

And were you super thrilled with this episode? It was a pretty good, wasn’t it?

Well, it still had those dumb alternate timeline storylines… Well, here’s the thing with those. People have complained that the 2004 stories are pointless, or a distraction from the on-Island stories that people care about. There is definitely some validity to that when we have to watch a whole episode of Kate trying to run away from US Marshal Edward Mars again. But this episode worked the John Locke storyline in pretty seamlessly, in a way that actually added to the on-Island story. Continue reading

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