Intensity.

No more tears. Let’s have some shouting!

I think if you’ve read this site before, then you’ve probably guessed that we’re fans of the Jack character on Lost. I mean, I hope you’ve gotten that impression at least.

In a nutshell, even if the show didn’t have an Island, didn’t have love triangles and quadrangles, didn’t have a giant motherfucking four toed statue or a smoke monster or flashbacks, flashforwards, or even flashsideways for fucks’ sake, you’d still have a pretty spectacular show about a man just falling apart…

And falling apart pretty spectacularly.

And it’s not just a man crying. Anybody can cry. Man, woman, children, perhaps dogs and fish too, I don’t know. Hell, you can probably program a robot to let go of a salty discharge every now and then. But, no, what’s wrong with Jack is something serious and tragic and beautiful. And it’s not just about crying. It’s not just this:

And a lot of that has to do with Matthew Fox’s portrayal of the character, something that I’ve posited before has probably been heavily influential with the direction the writers have pushed the character into, probably without a map too.

Maybe he can push the character into the lap of a stripper… Oh!

Sidenote: Is it me or, mustache aside, if and more accurately when they do the eventual remake of Magnum, P.I., how great would Matthew Fox be in the Tom Selleck role? I’m just talking out loud here, people.

Now, I’m not really trying to fully analyze the character here or crack Jack open. What would spill out of that nutshell would be far too much. But what he means to me is probably not a whole lot different from what he means to you. It’s about frailty. It’s about failure. It’s about not being what people expect you to be or cracking under the pressure. It’s about giving people a lot of really crazy, intense looks, getting up in their face a lot, and sometimes firing a gun, killing people in, like, easily the double digits. Seriously, Jack is insane, right?

But, as the ending of Lost looms on the horizon, I start to think more about the resolutions I want to see, the questions I want answers to. It’s not just about what the Island is, what the numbers are, or questions about the smoke monster or alternate realities, it’s about the characters effected by all of this too. Jack is a tightly wound ball of frustration and daddy issues and addiction and questions about masculinity and need and issues with women and leadership. He may not be the lead of this show anymore, but he’s the leader of some of these characters. He’s the spinal surgeon who became the spine of an entire show.

Here’s hoping the character gets the happy ending he deserves. But without losing any of the intensity.

“Yo, Johnny! I’ll see you in the next life!”

Yesssssssss. Oh yes.

The above picture posted here originally.

Let’s not front here folks: Point Break is fucking awesome. Sometimes a thing is a cult classic because it’s shit, and sometimes because it’s got that special something. Point Break has that special something. Instantly quotable and painfully fun to watch and re-watch over again.

Just don’t watch it’s shitty remake, The Fast And The Furious, though Paul Walker is easily the Keanu of the next generation, whether that be a good thing or bad.

Oh, and again: RIP, Swayze.

And let’s not forget that Point Break that was directed by the always amazing Kathryn Bigelow, who will hopefully be picking up an Oscar soon…

Defense mechanisms of the criminally insane.

I want to muse a bit about Shutter Island here.

Bear with me though. Let’s break it down to… oh, shall we say, “No Spoilers” and “Spoilers,” something like that?

No Spoilers.

The movie starts like Hamlet’s father’s ghost, wandering out of the fog and into our lives. Or, rather, it starts with a boat, coming towards us out of the fog, and heading towards the island of the movie’s title. On that boat is Dicaprio, hunched over, vomiting his brains out.

The plot is simple: It’s 1954, and Dicaprio is a US Marshal, working for the first time with a new partner, played by Mark Ruffalo. They’re on their way to Shutter Island, home of a hospital for the nation’s most criminally insane. One of the inmate/prisoners has escaped, seemingly vanished into thin air (no, not vanished, more like “evaporated,” just like water would), and the marshals are there to find her. And, of course things are not what they seem…

The first scene there on the boat, as Dicaprio walks onto the deck and meets his new partner tells us so much about the movie we’re about to get. It literally plunges us into the motifs we’ll see over and over again and informs us that we’re in the playground of both paranoid noir and the best kind of playing homage, the one that sparks originality.

Dicaprio is a man haunted by a past that we see in flashbacks, both to his life with his wife, played simply and straightforwardly by Michelle Williams, and before that, to his time in World War II, and his part in liberating Dachau and witnessing both man’s cruelty to man after the fact and during the cold, violent act itself.

That opening scene, which I need to return to again for just one more paragraph, still amazes me. It’s so simplistic, feeling at first almost like an SNL quality of production for a Casablanca scene, or something in which somebody like Humphrey Bogart could actually appear in. Everything, this scene tells us, is going to be about water, something you can drown or be drowned in, immersed in, or it’s going to be about fire, ash, the dark nuclear future on the horizon, and the smoke which, like the fog, is going to surround you, and you’re not only going to get lost in, you’re going to lose yourself.

That’s heavy, I know.

The downside of this movie is that it’s way too long. The way a nightmare feels too long, but the pacing is expert. And it’s simple, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Scorsese is trying new things, the paranoid thriller, working effectively in a field where, like we’ve said, someone like Polanski really excels in. And Scorsese, ever the master, ever the craftsman and lover of film, knows what he’s doing. You’re going to sit there and you’re going to be drugged and unnerved because that’s what he wants from you.

But with the mechanics of your typical hysterical thriller hokum, the creepy staircases, the rain and lightning, the darkened hallways, Scorsese takes you places. He takes you to the Holocaust, gliding effortlessly into memories that intersect with the present, and into the place where your memories walk away like nightmares and lie to you. Somewhat like the “twists” and “turns” of the movie, which at times come out of nowhere,  and other times lead you down phony paths that may actually be the real one.

Unshockingly, when Dicaprio’s character gets to the island and gets the lay of the land in the first ten to fifteen minutes, and then gets a headache, one that requires the head doctor, played both creepily and both perfect genuine smarm by Ben Kingsley, to give him an asprin, you automatically assume that Dicaprio’s character is being drugged. Your cinephile instincts just tell you that immediately…

And they’re right, but not totally in the way you’re assuming. From that moment on, the movie is a drug.

You’re absolutely living in the character’s frustrations and fears and paranoia.

To me, The Others was a perfect creepy movie for a crowd. I first watched it with a group of people, none of us having ever seen it before and we were freaked out, but we were enthralled. That same sense of rapture is present here, but this is not a crowd movie, not to me. You need to see it in the theater because there it’s big and loud and gorgeous, but it feels so solitary. Once this film starts and that boat punches through the white vaporous fog, you’re alone. And even if you weren’t, you can’t be sure that person sitting next to you is real anyway.

And the acting is serviceable throughout. Sadly, more than what the actors give in performance, they give in appearance. The period-ness of this picture is perfect through and through. Dicaprio, whom my fingers keep wanting to mistype as “Dicrapio” gives everything he has: the angry guy, the tough guy, the sad, hurt child. Nothing with charisma or nuance, though. In the beginning of this movie, he almost feels like he’s regressed (ha ha, spoilers) back to where he was in the beginning of Revolutionary Road, still feeling like, as Natasha Vargas-Cooper put it so brilliantly: it feels like you’re watching “a high school actor, a very fine one, play Hamlet.”

I’m still curious what Scorsese gets out of their partnership, but somewhat akin to The Departed, the thing that Dicaprio best conveys to this story: The need, the crazy reaches for survival. In his hands, you think you’re wanting to grab yourself some understanding, seeking out truth and trying to get to the bottom of a mystery, but really, you’re just trying to survive to the conclusion.

SPOILERS.

Seriously, if you didn’t see that “twist” coming in some form or another, then… well, I don’t want to be mean here, but I’m assuming you were born yesterday and this was the first film you’ve ever seen, right?

I mean, of course Dicaprio was going to be an inmate himself and the film was going to be his emotional quest to discover something for himself, an emotional plateau and on it, possibly a chance at redemption or acceptance?

And Mark Ruffalo, doesn’t he always play not just a cop, but kind of a son of a bitch? I was talking to someone about that after the movie and she was confused. “Does he always play a cop?” she asked. I just smiled and said, “You should go watch In The Cut. Really. You should.” But in all seriousness, a minor note I’d make about Ruffalo’s performance: Something about his facial expressions throughout the first half… They just felt so perfect with the period to me.

Will the lighthouse become that new piece of terrifying imagery?

I’m curious what people will think of this movie after the fog of it’s release settles. This isn’t necessarily an award winning movie, but it’s solid, completely. It’s made by a master and the cast is more than capable and game.

And the ending? It’s sinister. It’s devastating. It takes a moment to realize what’s going on there, and it’s dark and it’s human and it’s all Dicaprio. It’s a man making a decision, whether to live a certain way or die another way, and I think it’s a division that resonates when you walk out of the theater. Some people will hate this movie and I want to say something about them not being lovers of American cinema, or just the art of making movies at all, and some people will walk out of this film, still thinking about it, carrying a bit of it with them for a while, jumping at and questioning the shadows that appear as you just try to grab hold of something real out there in the fog.

“You’ve got what it takes.” Lost 6×05: The Lighthouse

I think Season 6 is shaping up to be the resurgence of Jack. While bros like Desmond, Sayid and Richard Alpert might be cooler, I’ve always empathized with Jack’s story the most, warts and all. Funny, considering that he was originally going to be a throwaway character played by Michael Keaton who died in the Pilot.

Needless to say, I loved tonight’s episode. Loved the Island stuff, where we see Jack through Hurley’s eyes. From Hugo’s POV, Jack is both his leader and also kind of a scary nutcase. How does Jacob, through Hurley, get Jack to do what he wants? By playing mind games about Jack’s daddy issues, of course. Jack is nothing if not consistent. It was very understated, but sweet to see how much Hurley does look up to Jack. Jack may be a total mess, but he’s their leader.

And off the Island, Jack has a son (!) from a marriage that didn’t work out here either. But maybe, after the death of Christian, this Jack is beginning to pull it together. It’s interesting to see Jack puzzling at his appendix scar, not totally sure where it came from. As with our other flash-sideways characters, it’s like  our heroes are unconsciously learning from the failures of their alternate selves. “Through a Looking Glass” was all about showing us how everything went terrible wrong. The sideways-scenes this season might be about how there’s also hope that things can go right too.

Meanwhile, Claire is rocking the Rousseau gear, and, just as Dogen promised, she’s been infected with the darkness. You kinda knew she was going to kill that poor Other. But interesting to learn that they captured and tested her too, as they did Sayid. I suppose this means that Claire didn’t time jump like the other Lostaways?

I wonder if Jin really did see Aaron at the temple, or if he was just talking some bullshit to win Claire over until he could get the fuck away from her. Does Claire see the dark man as Locke, or Christian? Or someone else?

But what I really want to know is: who’s #108? Please let it be Desmond!

Search Party!

Just a few of the things that people have searched for and then found ye old Counterforce thru:

from here.

Good fuck!”

Galactic collision pictures.”

Harry Knowles.” Yuck. Plus a lot of people seeking out pictures of his wife for some reason. Why, people, why?!

Both “Tina Fey Hot” and “Tiny Fey Butt.”

Both “Kim Kardashian Sex” and “Kim Kardashian Fucking.”

And “Kim Kardashian ASS.” Oh, for the love of Ray J, people!

Le sigh. Some of the things people find us via really makes me feel terrible about myself. Like a new, even lower kind of terrible than what I’m normally used to.

Woody Harrelson” and “The end of the world.” The two go hand in hand, I guess. Much like Woody and Owen up above.

“Don Betty Rome.”

Billy Dee Williams” and “Colt 45.”

“Classic Beatles songs sung by talented children.” I have no idea where that came from.

Queen Mab and Merlin.”

“Max” and “Wild Things.” Speaking of which…

Trashy shit.” This tends to be how we roll more often than not (or than I’d like).

Gail Simmons.”

“Robert Downey senior.”

Both “Tess Lynch” and “Tyler Coates.” Both fine searchs, but you should probably look for Tess here and here, and also here, and Tyler, the man about the internet, can be found here.

Oak Island.”

Jackface” and “Lost.” And “It only ends once.”

And, ha ha, also “Donface.” Nice.

Alexis Dziena.”

Sally Sparrow.” Carey Mulligan, I think you’re a fine actor and potentially a brilliant one, but Shia LeBeowulf? I don’t love that.

Lara Flynn Boyle.” (Also, there’s this one.)

Ursula Andress.” (I’m pretty sure that’s what they meant, though they did search for “Ursula Address,” so who knows, perhaps they just wanted Ursula’s address?)

And…

Sarah Silverman.”

Agent Scully mating.” Ick.

Sybian sex.” Also searched with the sybian was “How it works.” The simple answer? Magic.

And “cunnilingus.”

“Robots and Cthulhu.” Nice.

“Our bodies touch and the angels cry.”

Batman alley death.”

And last, but not least, for now: “Fashion of the great depression.”

Glad we could be of service!

Nothing Compares 2 U.

So, Kevin Smith has been in the news quite a bit lately, and right before another one of his shitty looking movies is coming out. Marco Sparks and I were talking about Smith yesterday, and Marco was telling me his story about meeting him outside of a Starbucks a few years ago. Anyway, today at work I got bored and started looking up Kevin Smith interviews and miscellany, since I knew he had put out those Q&A DVDs a while back. And then I discovered his story about meeting and working on a documentary for Prince

Continue on to parts two and three and four of the fascinating tale. And here is Smith relating the Purple One‘s reaction to the story.

The Artist, as rendered by Brian Bolland.

But here is a few tidbits from the tale: Prince hates a potty mouth. And he’s tiny and his people sometimes buy him normal person clothes from Nordstrom. Every room in Paisley Park/Prince World is “wired for sound” so that he can record wherever he wants whenever he wants, which is also convenient for listening in on everyone. And when he dies, there’s going to be a tidal wave of things that will explode out of his vaults.

The Widening Gyre (of time, space, monsters, and silliness).

The super geek in me is ecstatic not just that they finally released the second trailer for the upcoming series (either #1 or #5, depending on how you look at it) of Doctor Who, but that it finally made it’s way online:

It was airing only in movies theaters in England with copies of Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland movie (which, I guess, is not being boycotted there after all) in 3D. This trailer is relentlessly silly and fun in a mega ridiculous kind of way, which is nice when you stop to remind yourself that this is still a children’s show.

Who knows, maybe Matt Smith won’t be horrible, but I’m more than starting to suspect that the lovely Karen Gillan is going to have that wide mouthed shocked look frozen onto her face the whole time. It is just super, crazy goofy. I kind of wonder if it was concocted by marketing folks rather than those actually in charge of the show, but I also don’t care because, by my count, I’ve now watched it something like 12 times. By the end of the night, because I seemingly have nothing else to do, it could be 1200 times.

Pills, porn, and poker.

The 3 Ps, they’re called. The most common types of e-mail spam/business that clutters your inbox, or your spam folder.  Also, replica watches too, apparently.

Here is, for your viewing pleasure, 47 random and unopened entries from my spam folder, with the sender and subject line:

1. Jet Blue Rewards. Apparently I’ve been chosen to receive two free tickets just about anywhere. Go me.

2. Blockbuster online. This makes me laugh a little.

3. Extenze. “Natural male enhancement. It works!” the email promises. I’ve been promised things before.

4.Island Rock. Apparently, according to this email, Bon Jovi wants me to pick a song for him to perform at the Grammys. Hey Jon, I’m trying to think of something clever to say, or to even think up a Bon Jovi song, but I’m just thinking about that Bret Michaels thing over and over again.

5. BlackSingles.com. “Meet African American singles in your area,” the email suggests. I’d love to.

6. Tiger Woods Fan Club. The subject line is: “Please contact us immediately to tell us if you still support Tiger or not?”

from here.

7. Locate Plastic Surgeons. “GET BREAST IMPLANTS!” Don’t tease me.

8. Cash -4-Gold. Sure, I’d love some cash, but honestly, people, if I had a bunch of gold sitting around…

9. August Bravo. “What do the numbers on Lost mean?” and “I think Locke is Jacob. Is he?” Yeah, sure.

10. Cash in 24 hours. One of my favorite subject lines: “Get CASH wired into your account tomorrow! $lut$!”

11. Sexyhousewife271@aol.com <Priceline Updates @ fandangonews.com. “Why wait when you can be having an affair with a sexy housewife right now!” You’ve got a point there, friend. Why am I waiting?

12. Rachel Ray Package. “You’ve been selected to receive a Rachael Ray package worth up to $500!” Ehh.

13. Criminal Justice School Finder. “Take criminal justice classes online. AT YOUR OWN PACE!” Now we are talking. The all caps tells me that you are serious.

14. Cheating_wife007@aol.com. “There are SO MANY cheating wives in YOUR AREA.” I figured as much. I like the “007” add on there, though. Ladies are pimps too. The AOL makes me think less of all that cuckolding though.

15. COBRA health coverage. “Can’t afford COBRA? You’re not alone!” Uhhh, I’m weary of this one, you guys.

16. Oksana. “Come to me. I’m in a hotel. Come on top of me! I’ll still love you!” Dream girl.

17. Brandie. “Did you get email? I miss the way you suckle my pussy.”

18. Svetlana. “Hello.” This one is subtle, and therefore, as far as Spam goes, more insidious. I love these brands of “normal sounding” women’s names. You almost want to click on them. “Brandie” is a decent name, but when I am ever going to know an Oksana or Svetlana, really? For more than one night, I mean.

19. Dolores. I include this one because Dolores is a nice name, but one you don’t see very often anymore, right? (Also, unrelated, it was Lolita’s name.) Anyway, the subject line is: “Remember that passionate night we shared in Tokyo?” I wish, Dolores. I wish.

from here.

20. APPLE. “Your iphone is waiting to meet you!”

21. Shop until you drop! “Target gift card!”

22. HotBabyGirl4U. “I’m Cute and I know it :) Hehe.” I gotta admit. Her confidence is a turn on.

23. Conrad Noir. “The Gayest tennis serve.” It can be found here, apparently.

24. Approved Tester. “Thank you! You’re an approved tester now!” Uh… great.

25. Internet TV. “Fuck your cable bill in the ass.” I like the way we’re talking here.

26. Legally reduce your debt. “As seen on CNN!” That sounds legit.

27. VIAGRA where you want it. Where I want it, huh? The subject line is probably the most effective marketing statement ever: “80% off!” Thankfully, the only entity that cares more about my penis (and my finances) than me is my good friend, the Internet.

28. Kim. “Blinded by those white teeth!” Thanks, Kim.

29. Cash4Timeshares. “Don’t you hate it when they make you pay for those time shares?” Like you would not and could not believe, bro.

30. G.I. Bill. “January 12 to January 29: You qualify. Afraid to see if you have what it takes?” Afraid? No. I’m pretty sure that I do not have what it takes.

31. Diamonds. “DIAMONDS!”

32. Lesslie. “COLD CASH. Weight loss made easy. Eat whatever you want. No more diet pills!” This is that sweet spot where “sounding good” eventually translates into “looking good.”

33. Fling.com. “Spice up your life, Marco.”

34. Savings. “Get a credit check. Be debt free in 2 to 36 months.”

35.Yesenia. “VISA and MASTER CARD and AMERICAN EXPRESS. Get VIAGRA and CIALIS together in ONE PILL.” Tempting.

36. Troy. “Make your blog do things with my help. Financial magic.” Also tempting. Troy, are you a wizard? A warlock? Are you going to initiate me into your blogging coven?

37. Smoke shop. “What goes between your lips?”

38. Gimmesumluvin. “I’m look’n for something strange!” Now we’re talking.

39. Davison. “We challenge you to pursue your dream.” Hmm.

40. Perfect hair every day. “Celebrity hair secrets REVEALED.”

41. (500) Days for $1.99. “You need business cards!”

42. Piss loving sluts find Jesus and $alvation! I’m a red blooded American male, one who loves mixing business and pleasure, spirituality and golden showers as much as the next guy, but even still… I think I’ll wait til this is in reruns after Steven Seagal, Lawman on A&E.

43. Hi-tech Husband. Fist it says, “Want to make a little money at home?” Yes, I do. Then it says, “Want us to ship you a wireless notebook?” Oh, you tease.

44. Peanut St. Cosmo. Just the usual. She asks, “DID HE ASK FOR ME BY NAME?” when talking about internet celebs. Oh, Peanut. Of course he did!

45. Remove Dark Eyes and Circles. “Stop looking like a heroin addict in mere weeks!”

46. Help Haiti Homeboy. I actually click on this one because I’m amazed at how timely it is, how it may actually want to do some good. But… no. It says: “Get a loan. Get a condo in Haiti. Fuck some sad bitches.” As horrible as that is, it’s pretty much the spam trifecta, right?

47. Limited promotion. “Are you a real person?” Honestly, this one blew my mind. The last thing anyone on the internet wants is to have their “realness” questioned. And a close second is, “A/S/L?”

So, there you go. Nothing particularly revelatory, but that’s hardly the nature of your inbox anymore, right? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be on the internet…

Search and destroy.

The final season of Lost continues with last night’s intriguing episode, “The Substitute,” in which the dial is turned up just a tad on the mythology reveals.

And it was a Locke episode, which… well, by now you know of our love of the abilities of Terry O’Quinn, but it’s always good when what appears to be your show’s primary villain can get an episode all of his own.

And what a peak into the world of the Man In Black/Smoke Monster/”The Locke-Ness Monster” it was, this new semi-corporeal existence. Supposedly the only form he can take, other than smoke, is that of John Locke. In that case, who was that appearing as Alex to Ben last season in “Dead Is Dead?”

Regardless of that, the glimpses of the character were fascinating. Supposedly he was once human, knowing joy and fear and what it’s like to be betrayed. He’s been trapped so long that he doesn’t know what it’s like to be free anymore. And while he’s clearly manipulating anyone he can, tell what would appear to be at least partial truths, he wants to “go home,” to leave the Island. But where is home? And what does leaving the Island, and the needing of someone else to help him do it, entail exactly? Is it a genie in the lamp/djinn thing, in that he needs someone else to take his place?

And he clearly didn’t take just the appearance and memories and shroud of John Locke on, because he seems quite a bit like him. Maybe he’s not afraid, as Sawyer claims Locke always was (really, James Ford, was he always afraid?), but he certainly seems to be enjoying continuing playing the role of Locke, taking on his mannerisms and seemingly a little bit of his personality. And failings.

Meanwhile in the Sideways universe: How weird is it that a millionaire like Hurley can be on a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles with not just one, but two of his employees? Is it me or is this show all about WEIRD COINCIDENCES?

The Sideways universe still fascinates me because there we are, just looking for it’s reason for being, other than being neat, and while it’s not exactly revealing any big stories, it’s giving us the exact opposite. The small little human stories. John Locke, the man in the wheelchair with the douchebag boss. He’s about to woman to marry the woman he loves and seemingly still has a father in his life. He’s encountering all the echoes of another version of himself in another time and place, and he’s tired of being told what he can’t do. It’s time to start seeing what he can do.

I guess there’s another option besides farmer and hunter, huh? What’s the old joke… Those who can’t do, teach…

…like Ben Linus, European History teacher. Watching Ben’s progression in the Sideways universe will be fascinating and should answer a lot of nature vs. nurture questions we’ve been gathering up.

Meanwhile there’s Island Ben. Not quite ready to admit to the manipulated murder of Jacob (which is reasonable at this point, I think, because there’s a good chance that Ilana might just shoot him on the spot), but he can admit to not just the murder of the real John Locke, but the (possible) remorse he feels because of it.

And then there’s Sawyer and the Man In Black. The fallen man and the man who fulfills our need for “the Devil” in any story.

It’s interesting to me the mythic value of Christianity, which to me is really just a collection of interesting stories rather than the basis for being crazy, voting Republican, or blowing up abortion clinics. To the people who deemed the Left Behind series as good, I would instead submit to you a little television show called Lost. I don’t know if it represents your so called “values” any better, but it certainly presents them mixed with something even more important: How people really are.

from here.

Jacob and the Man In Black represent, to me, the very nature of what should be taken out of a story like Christianity, stories that had been around long before Christianity. Fate vs. Free Will. Or the new update, Faith vs. Science. Jacob represents so much of what we can rely on from “God,” doesn’t he? He’s good and all, righteous and true, but there isn’t a whole lot of room for innovation. And there isn’t a lot of sharing of knowledge. You’re set up to either fail or succeed, but you don’t know why, and seemingly the only thing that can save you? Blind obedience and total submission.

Meanwhile, if the Devil was a real being, then Lost tackles that character exactly how I, a mere mortal on this spinning rock, would envision him/her in the Man In Black: He’s just somebody who’ll show up when you’re at your lowest and offer you a little bit of knowledge and some choices. And that’s the kind of thing that scares a lot of people.

But not Sawyer, apparently. Seemingly he’s so hollowed out by his past experiences on the Island that he’s past the point of caring or being scared. Sitting around in your boxers talking to what is either a dead man or something that has appropriated the face of a dead acquaintance of yours? That’s no big whoop to Sawyer. Strange, almost hallucinatory little boys (young Jacob, right?) appearing to the Locke-ness Monster? Doesn’t phase him in the slightest. Neither does almost plummeting to your death from a cliff face. He just wants to sit around, drinking whiskey, and listening to Iggy and the Stooges. And I can’t blame him. That’s exactly what I do when all of my girlfriends die setting off a timeline-altering nuclear bomb.

But then there’s that cave. With THE NUMBERS. And the names attached. It seems that Sawyer and the other major players from Flight 815 are all candidates for taking over Jacob’s job. But not Kate, seemingly. And obviously Jacob’s been at this for a while, since you can see the names from the 50s military expedition crossed out there as well. I’d like to think that Richard Alpert knows a little more of what’s going on then what we were lead to believe in this episode (he at least knows when it’s time to be scared shitless enough to take off towards the temple, like everyone else), but seemingly even he didn’t know about this cave by the sea, Jacob’s version of Plato’s Cave, with it’s little inside jokes (are these Jacob and The Man In Black’s inside jokes, or Damond Lindelof and Carlton Cuse’s?).

But there they are in that cave, Sawyer looking at the list of names, seeing himself as a prisoner of fate possibly, and the Man In Black offers him choices. Not just one, not just two, but three choices. Obviously Sawyer’s being manipulated, without a doubt. But seemingly, when you’re the plaything of the Gods, all you can do is be manipulated in one direction or another, right? And if he plays along, well, then perhaps he can save his own soul.