Posts Tagged ‘Ben Linus’

Getting Lost (Redux): The Life And Death Of Jeremy Bentham

John Locke is a very intriguing and unusual TV character. Before I started watching Lost, when my only real exposure to the show were the promos and the summaries I got from my AP Calculus teacher (who was the first real Lost fan I knew and, come to think of it, kind of like Locke), I remember thinking it was very strange that this new television phenomenon had, as one of its central characters, a rather elderly, bald gentleman.*

*It’s very strange to think back to my perception of Lost before I started watching—which was fairly recently. For a while, I wasn’t even sure of the characters’ names. At various points I thought Lost featured a character named “Jack Locke,” that Locke was the first name of Matthew Fox’s character, and that “John Locke” and “Jack” were in fact the same person (since “Jack” is often considered a nickname for “John”**). It’s worth remembering that this is how Lost is perceived by those on the outside of this “cultural phenomenon.”

**Although how you can have a nickname that is the same length, in both syllables and letters, as the actual name is another question. Continue reading

Getting Lost (Redux): Every Man For Himself

The first six episodes of Season Three—the “Cage Era”—are some of the most controversial episodes of Lost. Many fans were upset to see the focus taken away from the beach, while Jack, Sawyer, and Kate were imprisoned off on Hydra Island. On the other hand, the introduction of the Others was a watershed moment for the mythology of the series.

I, for one, always thought the first six episodes—and really eight, when you factor in “Not in Portland” and “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” which aired some time after the first six—were among the best stretches of episodes the show ever did. Continue reading

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

Getting Lost: The Package

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, could you figure out who “the package” was before it was revealed? I think anyone who watched could have figured out, as soon as Charles Widmore said the package wasn’t “a what” but “a who,” that A) the package’s identity wouldn’t be revealed until the end of the episode; and B) that the package was almost certainly Desmond Hume. There was even a good chance it was Desmond before Widmore declared that his package was a person. After all, we pretty much know where all the other characters are and what they are doing at this point in the season, whereas Desmond showed up for about eight seconds in the season premiere and then disappeared.

Well, it could have been someone like Walt, or Jack’s ex-wife, or someone new, or someone coming back from the dead. Continue reading

Getting Lost: Ab Aeterno

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:

Well, let’s start with the obvious: What exactly does “Ab Aeterno”—the title of last night’s episode—mean? Come on, you can’t Google it? Apparently, it can be loosely translated as “from the beginning of time,” “from eternity,” “from the everlasting,” etc. Basically, it means some shit is really, really old, as we discover in this episode that Richard Alpert has looked more or less the same for over 140 years.

Speaking of which, were people really still calling America “the New World” in 1867? I mean, the United States was pushing 100 at that point, and Europe had known about the continent for almost four centuries… Yeah, that part of the episode didn’t ring all that true to me. On the whole, I was a little wary of the entire Canary Island part of Richard’s story. Richard is an important character in terms of the Island’s overall mythology—and he’s almost always a good addition to a scene or episode, despite not always getting a lot of chances to shine, as he did two weeks ago in his dynamite scene—but he’s not really a character at the emotional center of the story. We didn’t meet him until Season Three, and we didn’t know much about his character until, really, this season.

And, unlike a lot of viewers, I really wasn’t especially interested in the whole “Richard doesn’t age” phenomenon. I didn’t really need a whole episode devoted to explaining it, since the supernatural is such an ingrained part of Lost by now. So centering an entire episode around Richard—with pretty much none of the main characters—was a rather bold move. People generally hated an episode like “The Other 48 Days” from Season Two for the same reason. Continue reading

Getting Lost: LA X

For “Getting Lost,” the new series in which John S takes a look at the most salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost, he’s borrowing Tim’s interlocutor style:

What was the deal with that opening? As many were predicting, the opening scene of Lost Season Six was a quasi-replay of the first airplane scene from the show’s pilot. Panning back from the wing, we see Jack looking out the window, and the flight attendant comes by to ask about his drink. In other words, the plan worked, and we are now witnessing an alternate timeline.

Last May, when Juliet set off the hydrogen bomb on the Island, people immediately starting hypothesizing that Season Six would be the story of what happens if and when Oceanic 815 actually landed at LAX (a hypothesis strengthened when the title of the season premiere was announced). My biggest worry about this storyline, though, was that it wouldn’t be interesting. I, for one, never really cared much about these characters’ off-Island lives. Continue reading

Lost Season Six and the Importance of The End

“It always ends the same.”

“It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

—Jacob and the unidentified Man In Black, from the Season Five finale of Lost

The sixth and final season of Lost kicks off tonight, in what is likely the most anticipated final season since at least the end of The Sopranos. It’s conceivable that Lost is actually more anticipated than The Sopranos final season. For one, more people watch Lost, since it’s on a network and not premium cable.

But it’s not simply the number of viewers the show has, it’s the type of viewership the show inspires: There are no passive Lost fans. You cannot just check in every few weeks to see where the characters are—you will be totally fucking confused. The show is so deeply enmeshed in mystery and ambiguity that missing any steps in the narrative will get you completely lost. This is also what makes the show so addicting. Continue reading