You’ve got the touch.

Holy crap, another week, another new episode of Lost. This time it was a Ben episode, entitled “Dr. Linus.” And the often misleading promos promised us that Ben would face his own mortality, and he did, but he survived the encounter, unlike Corey Haim. Or the dude from Sparklehorse.

And it was interesting episode with Ben on the Island being even more broken down, all the shards of his manipulative sad personality being stripped away. He tries to get over his anger and abandonment issues by assuming roles of power. He wants to be a leader and he wants knowledge, but he never understands why he needs to know these things.

And Sideways Ben… well, it was interesting to see a Sideways flash of someone who wasn’t on either Oceanic flight 815, but I like the reminder that this is the same little Ben that was shot by Sayid and taken to the temple. He’s been changed by Others, but what does that mean in the real world?

Apparently that means an unhappy life of teaching in the public school system and only getting motivation to do something when a guy in a wheelchair at the next table suggests it.

And probably means you’ve left less of a body count in your wake.

The thing I think you have to ponder about the Sideways world is… Well, remember last season when we suddenly went back to the Island with the Ajira flight and there was Locke alive again? And we were invigorated by this new Locke, this man in full control of himself and capabilities? For half a season there we had something of the season ending twist just hanging there in our faces but there was no one way we could tell what was happening. You have to wonder if that’s what the Sideways world is. Is this the world that the Man In Black/Smokey has promised his followers? Is this the epilogue? Because, with the exception of Sayid’s sideways flash so far (arguably), these characters are all doing fine, getting second chances and doing what they should’ve done, perhaps.

I mean, there’s Ben, taking care of his asshole dad (oh, the IRONY as he’s trying to keep his Sideways father alive and instead of poisoning him with gas he’s changing his oxygen tank), and finally getting the opportunity to “choose Alex,” the choice he didn’t make before when Keamy had the gun to her head. And it’s not like he’s not getting to do a little scheming, blackmailing his principal and all. Good times for all. Especially Jeff Goldblum:

from here and here.

But back to the Island. And back to Jack and Richard Alpert and perhaps my favorite moment of the season so far…

We always told you Jack was crazy. Who else would do a bro a favor, lighting the fuse on his stick of dynamite so he can kill himself and then deciding to sit down and have a little chat while it burns. This new Jack is still crazy after all these years, but it feels like he’s finally accepted it. Being a slave to destiny is fucking insane. Might as well do some fun, crazy shit while you’re at it.

“When Jacob touches you, it’s not a gift, it’s a curse,” Richard Alpert tells us cryptically, right after he appears from somewhere, and when asked where that somewhere is, he says, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” I think you’d be amazed what these characters and us would believe/accept after all this time. Though I think I’m getting tired of Hurley as the proxy for the audience’s questions, especially when he makes the audience’s sound so fucking stupid: “Are you a cyborg?”

And Ilana? I respect the seriousness of things, the hopelessness of it all, and how you’ve personally been fucked by destiny – and in that regard, Lost is kind of like the bible: the women get the short end of the stick over and over again, sadly – but having Ben dig his own grave for a few hours? That doesn’t seem like the best use of your time, I would think. But then again, time stops for a little vengeance.

Time will always pause for you to wrap your hands around the big flabby neck of revenge.

And Miles… still annoying, but still a better version of Charlie, right? And now he’s got those Nikki and Paulo diamonds. I neglected to mention in a dorky nitpick last week that Lennon fucked up when he offered Kate two minutes with Claire when it should’ve been three (the Others always offer you three minutes)(but maybe that’s because the situation was a little stressful and two was all they had?), but I’m glad that they didn’t forget Miles and the desired 3.2 million dollars.

And I feel like Miles’ “superpower” is both underused and overused. Sadly, it kind of pales in comparison to Hurley’s being able to talk to ghosts, but I’m fascinated by the fact that Miles’ ability is tactile in nature…

He has to literally touch the dead in some way, which is amazing with the way that this show is now, with everything that these characters have been through, and death just hangs over everything like a cloud. A smoky black cloud, perhaps? As Dr. Arzt said, “You know what gets out formaldehyde? Nothing.”

And Charles Widmore is returning to the Island! Kind of like Napoleon perhaps? Will he have Mrs. Hawking/Desmond/Penny with him? And, just out of curiosity, what if Charles Widmore is his own grandfather? What happens if a future version of you touches you? Oh, the questions!

It’s always darkest before the…

So, last night’s episode of Lost, “Sundown,” 6X06, was quite frankly fucking amazing. From baseballs to boomerangs, it was dark, epic, and just gorgeous in it’s depths. You’re watching it and even though it’s the final season of this show, you’re thankful that we’re still in the first half.

We’re not quite to the end, you remind yourself. There’s so much more to savor. There’s still time…

Not for Sayid though!

So many questions! Again, the Others: What exactly is their power structure or hierarchy of leadership? If Ben was the leader of the Others for a significant portion of time, how is it that he doesn’t know crucial things about Smoke Monster, but Dogen does? We know that Richard Alpert was both consigliere to the “leader” but also a go between said leader (be it Ellie, Widmore, or Ben) and Jacob. And then there’s Dogen…

Or there was Dogen, anyway.

Seemingly fate didn’t just bring Dogen to the Island, Jacob did directly. So where does Dogen rate on the power structure compared to someone like Richard Alpert? And if it’s Dogen’s continuing living presence that kept the Locke-ness Monster out, what was going on with the ash that temporarily protected Bram under the statue?

And Ilana seems to know quite a bit, presumably having gotten her info from Jacob himself. So she’s technically an expert, right? Does she know as much as Richard Alpert, or more? Those too should really do a coffee and sit down. And answer some of my questions. For example: Why is the Man in Black recruiting?

Regardless, I have a feeling that the story of the Others is going to be one of those many mysteries that we’re always left a little curious about.

Also, Claire?

Still nuts, but I feel like, to me, her story just got a whole lot more interesting…

The Flash Sideways world: Keamy and Omary, whatever. A perfect depiction of them, as they would be in that world, certainly.

And this episodes sideways flashing gave us a fascinating continuation of Sayid’s story, but from a different perspective, from another angle. And with Jin’s appearance there, are we going to start seeing the threads of the Sideways world coming together?

That said, let’s get back to what matters: this episode might as well have been called “FUCK YEAH SAYID.”

Sayid, fan favorite, everyone’s favorite Iraqi with an Iranian passport, killer with a heart of gold. He’s seeking answers about his place in the world, and getting into fights with Japanese masters of weird and ancient temples.

He’s making deals with the devil, getting infected with “the darkness,” and then delivering messages…

When there’s no more room in Hell, SAYID WILL WALK THE EARTH.

The year in pictures, part two.

Almost there. Not quite yet though…

But, man, what a frustrating year.

I felt like Tyler Coates‘ picture here summed up what my attitude was going into this year. And what all of our attitudes should’ve been. As it always should be.

And now Alec Baldwin sums up how I felt about this year.

Though this year has brought some things that I desperately wanted to see.

Or never thought I would see (all together in the same club).

Or things that I would be okay never seeing again.

And some things, things from my childhood, came to an end.

Some things, I think, I realized I was glad to see go.

And it really hit me in this past year that some things will not last forever.

And some of those things are through. Professionally, I mean.

Oh well. Shit happens. Things come. And things go.

And they keep going.

It’s all about perspective.

Isn’t that what they say?

This was the year of hope.

This was the year of rejections.

This was the year of saying that you wanted a revolution.

And it was also the year where you said, “Could you try not to rub your beard up against my forest of tears?”

It was about new things.

And new things to regret (in the morning)(probably)(but hopefully not).

It was, for me, the year I just accepted the often hellish, nonstop barrage of celebrity bullshit.

…Especially in the face of weird hookups that I just can’t condone.

And seeing things I loved shat upon.

But these things happen.

We hold onto the good.

And let go of the bad.

Time to dust yourself off.

Maybe you’ve learned some things. About life, the world, and yourself.

And made some decisions.

And had some fun.

But just remember…

It’s easy to ride off into the sunset.

It’s hard to still be there when the sun rises. But that’s where the true excitement and the fun lay.

Hopefully we’ll see you there.

from here.

That’s A Dealbreaker, Ladies!

Ah, season finale week is almost coming to an end…

“You know, I don’t really like to define it, but it’s like Matchbox 20 meets The Fray…”

“You don’t grab these for balance.”

I don’t have any funny quotes from 30 Rock yet (though “You have sexually transmitted crazy mouth” and “There’s no such thing as bisexual, that’s just something they invented in the 90s to sell hair products” are both pretty good) because I’m just watching this week’s season finale of it now. At the start of the season, I was thinking that 30 Rock had really really upped it’s game this year and was better than The Office this season, but in the couple of weeks, The Office has really come back and gotten good. The finale this year was a little low key, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s kind of following along a pretty standard course for a show leaving it’s fifth year and about to go into it’s sixth year…

But Parks And Recreation on the other hand is doing pretty solid in my eyes. I think a lot of people have bailed on it now because it’s essentially a remix of The Office missing the early star crossed lovers storyline and Amy Poehler‘s Leslie Knope as a little less pathetically tragic Michael Scott, but I still like it. Here’s a pretty solid mini review of the show though that sums up my feelings exactly, particularly on how Rashida Jones is played as a saint and the Paul Schneider character is fairly sleazy but likable, but still kind of sleazy.

So, the TV season is slowly coming to an end… what were your favorite shows this year and which ones are you looking forward to next year?

Two players, two sides, one is light, one is dark…

Other than Lost, of course. And as for tomorrow…

May the Gods grant thee all that thy heart desires.

If I had a time machine, I’d travel to 2010 right this fucking second.

An abridged version of my reaction to the 4 minute pre-credits opening teaser to the episode: “Oh, hey, is that…?” “Well, look at that.” “Hmmm.” “I bet that’s… Oh, it totally is.” “Who’s this fucker? And who’s this other fucker?” “Are they… Is that… HOLY SHIT.”

There’s not even words to formulate an abridged version to my reaction to the ending. I’m literally typing this 8 minutes after the ending of the show and I feel like I got fucked hard. Or kicked in the balls hard, and it was glorious. I saw the light. Destiny found.

Looking around the room in the sweaty, luminescent afterglow, I see my underwear hanging from the ceiling fan. My pants are outside. I only have one sock on and the other is probably floating around there in time and space. I’m going to take a moment to collect all the various parts of myself, including my thoughts, and then come back with some quick thoughts on the season finale of Lost, entitled “The Incident.”

The Incident? You can sure as shit say that again, man.

The episode starts perfectly: Two guys enjoying a little chat on the beach as they scan the news on the horizon. They’re apparently (im)mortal enemies, working against or at least in conflict with each other, but there are rules to their engagements. One of these guys is Jacob and the other, the one who thinks that it always comes back to mortal sin, goes unnamed. And this tender little moment where one swears to the other that he’ll find a way to kill him? It all takes place in the shadow of the statue.

I just love that they can set up a huge overarching mythos for the show and this season in particular in the four minute teaser to the season finale and it already feels so natural and perfect.

Ben. Ben’s had one of the major storylines/character arcs this year and… Well. How fascinating that Ben has become the exact opposite of what we’ve known him as for the entire show so far: A victim. Haven’t you heard, Ben? Only fools are enslaved by time and space.

from here.

The statue:

Goddamn. Look at that fucking thing. Most likely, that’s still Anubis because of the ankhs, but there’s also the theories about Taweret (nahh) and Sobek, which actually make sense too. Sobek was a creator God and also carried around ankhs.

In fact, no, never mind, that is totally Sobek. You can tell by the crocodile mouth.

Jacob. More on him soon, because… it’s kind of hard even wrap your head around this character, you know?

But I find it very interesting that when he visited characters in the past, he always made sure to touch them. Physically. And the camera made sure to let you know that.

Is that his personal way of wrapping destiny around  you in such a way to deliver you to the Island?

Or is he giving them a second chance at life, not just in the moments he touches them, but in a reset post-Eden world? Are they still prisoners to time or are they free? Is the destiny that they’ll find in 2010 the ones that they themselves will create?

Little Kate. Wasn’t she adorable?

And she totally had the right stuff.

Big Kate. Not so bad, but you’re kind of all over the place here, Kate. But so were all of your friends too.

Jack. Jack does come off kind of crazy here, and a little possessed, but I guess it’s nice to see him there, to see him not so apathetic anymore. Also, Jack has a bomb! On one hand, there’s something very noble about his wanting to hit the reset button and see what was meant to be, but on the other hand, wouldn’t it be more noble to win back Kate the hard way? I’m going to have to agree with Sawyer on “what’s done is done” and suggest that if Jack wanted to be worthy of Kate, then he should get to work on being worthy of Kate. But then again, blowing shit up is also cool and they have to do that at the end of every season, right?

Desmond. I don’t mind mentioning that the last three episodes have suffered from an extreme lack of him, but maybe it’s for the best. For both Henry Ian Cusick and the show legally but also… Well, it’s nice that Desmond and Penny got a happy ending to this season.

Evil Twin John Locke. Oooh, Jacob’s Enemy is interesting, isn’t he? Knowing what we know now, I love that in “Follow The Leader” he made sure to have Richard go talk to his past self/past Locke to ensure that Locke does indeed leave the Island and meet his fate (death) like he’s supposed to.

The Real John Locke. You know what? This feels like the perfect ending to the real Locke’s storyline. Throughout all of his struggles to be his own man, to be something more than himself, he was always being used by somebody for something. Even after he died. Also, I loved that they used the same camera angel reveal for his body here that was used in the funeral home at the end of last season’s finale when they opened that mystery box.

The ending to every classic science fiction time travel story ever. I like how Miles has seen at least one and can suggest that maybe this is a predestination paradox. Which all leads wonderfully to…

“Aw, fuck it.” Isn’t that the gist of the rest of the 815ers in ’77′s decision? It kind of echoes Sayid’s sentiments from the previous episode. Either Jack/Faraday was right and this will work or at least they’ll all be put out of their misery and go down swinging.

Charlie. I like how the show is starting to slowly fold back in on itself, ouroboros-style, echoing itself.

Foreshadowing. It was all over this episode and hinting at nothing but bad things for Juliet. And then bad things happened to Juliet. And then that glorious ending…

Sawyer. I’ll say this for Sawyer: “What’s done is done.” That and he’s the kind of guy who kicks a man in the balls…

Bro Fight! This starts off a serious tussle, with some solid punches being thrown, some manly grimaces and growls, and even a kick in the balls They Live-style. Nice. But then it quickly devolves into…

A coupla guys having a sad little cat fight in the jungle. That may be a little harsh but still. Beat some sense into each other, fellas, if you can.

Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor. You have interesting taste in literature, Jacob.

Rose and Bernard. I respect their new take on life up to a point. To them, it’s not “whatever happened, happened,” but “whatever happens, happens.” They’re very much in the present day, living each moment as it comes and enjoying it as if it’s the last, as long as they’re together. That’s nice and sweet and all, but it’s also a kind of giving up. But for them, it makes sense since every moment they’ve had on the Island so far has felt like borrowed time to them. But more to the point: Are they the Adam and Eve skeletons?

The Rules. There are so many. One set applies to Jacob and his Enemy. But there’s also rules to time travel, iron clad rules it would seem, and I’m happy that so far the show has never deviated from those rules. In fact, every fascinating thing they do only seems to reinforce the stated rules when all is said and done. But even those rules just need a loophole, right?

Time Travel. What do you think? Are our heroes going to make it home? Or, just like Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap, are they going to be left hoping that the next flash is the one that takes them home?

Sayid. Damn.

Sun and Jin. I was hoping these two would get back together this season, but having another thing to look forward to next year is not such a bad thing.

Quick theory on Jacob’s Enemy: He’s the smoke monster. A Loki/trickster type, one has no problem reading people and then impersonating them, especially the dead, and if you remember Ben’s judgment from a few episodes back then you’ll remember that Alex and Locke were never in the same room together. That and I’m going to assume that Jacob was never in that cabin, not that we’ve seen when Ben or Locke or Hurley visited it, and that it was Jacob’s Enemy.

Jacob’s Cabin. “Someone else has been using it.” I’d even theorize that Jacob’s Enemy was probably imprisoned there in the circle of ash and that when Locke came to visit and his foot disturbed the circle, he freed him. And not just freed him, he introduced himself to Jacob’s Enemy and gave him exactly what he’s been looking for all this time: A loophole.

Also, Jacob’s Enemy: would presumably be named Esau, right? That or Edom?

Locke, again. This whole season the writers of this show have been working a magnificent magic trick on us with this character, playing on what we’ve always wanted to see and what little knowledge we’ve had about where all this is going. The knowledge they’ve given us. The knowledge we’ve followed faithfully, even when it conflicted with other knowledge they’ve given us, like the fact that “Dead is dead.” But I guess that’s just part of the beautiful dance that writers and con men have in common with their victims and audience: they desire to be so perfectly and wonderfully fooled.

People with guns. They just don’t understand shit at all. That’s why they have the guns, right?

The argument above is rendered invalid when it comes to hot girls with guns. They can do whatever they want pretty much always.

That guy Phil. He can eat a dick. Or a metal pole! Ha ha!

And let’s not forget this:

Or:

“Come on, you son of a bitch.” Great last line, great last moment. “The Fork In The Outlet?” Please, they may as well have just called this “One last WTF.” Way to go, Juliet. I think she shows, not just in that last moment, but in the entire episode that one person changing their mind can make all the difference.

One last thought for you, just a little something to hold you over for the next 8 months or so: THEY’RE COMING!

This Binary Universe.

Season finale week continues!

Tonight is the two hour finale of Lost with a clips show before hand. In a word: Exciting!

And last night I subjected myself to the season finale of Fringe, entitled “There’s More Than One Of Everything.”

I guess the nicest thing I can say about this show is that compared to a lot of what else is out there on TV, it’s not horrible. It’s not godawful. It’s not even stupid or pointless.

It’s just weak. More often than not, though it’s had one or two bright spots. In fact, going back to my original review of the pilot, I kind of feel the same after forcing 20 episodes of this show upon myself: It sets up a nice laundry list of ridiculous sci fi concepts that I would love to see happen and then if panders to me enough to take one of those concepts down off the shelf, dust it off and play with it, it’s done kind of flaccidly.

It’s super cool sci fi concept du jour (that it has been leading up to all season, both cryptically and not so cryptically): Alternate realities. In fact, the show so far would have you believe that like The X-Files has aliens as their raison d’etre and every other probing into the supernatural or paranormal was just the garnish, for this show it’ll be invaders from a different universe.

It just reminds you that The X-files (minus the last two seasons) were so fucking good. What is this show doing wrong that that show did so right? The nice thing about this show is that basically everyone on here isn’t all “I WANT TO BELIEVE,” but more “I KIND OF HAVE TO BELIEVE BECAUSE THIS CRAZY SHIT IS JUST POPPING UP ALL UP IN MY BIZNESS 24/7!” Well, for the most part.

In fact, SPOILER FOR THE LAST IMAGE OF THE FINALE:

Very evocative of Planet Of The Apes, although the US remake of Life On Mars used essentially the same trick in the first five minutes of it’s pilot to key you into the fact that you were in a earlier section of the timeline, but it reminds me a lot of the first season of Lost. Remember back that far? I won’t go into it, but let’s put it this way, William Bell, the guy who seemingly has all the answers and has been mentioned but never seen in every single episode of this series thus far, well, he’s the hatch.

SPOILER FOR TIDBIT RIGHT BEFORE THE END OF THE FINALE:

Oooh. Alternate universes are hot right now.

At least in the mind of J.J. Abrams and his creative ilk, right?

Makes me wish I had an evil twin. You know what I mean?

Ultimately I did kinda like this episode. It wasn’t great, but it had some interesting reveals (the grave!) for an hour of sci fi television and I’ll probably take a peek at the second season in the fall (of which they’re already filming so there was a preview trailer for it at the end of the episode) just to see if this storyline advances anywhere interesting. Nimoy’s appearance here reminded me a lot of his appearance at the end of that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I have my doubts on how long he’ll be with this show. But I have to give it kudos to how it took out David Robert Jones (which is the real name of Davie Bowie, in case you were wondering)(and it’s sad to see Jared Harris leave, because he was one of the most compelling things about this show, but he’s off to better things) by literally cutting him in half with a closed portal between worlds.

And how did it happen? Pacey ran out and pointed a remote control at him and clicked it. He turned off the TV on the window into another reality. There’s something so wonderfully meta in that that my fucking brain wants to explode.

But I still wish I had an evil twin.