Thursday, July 21, 2011

PCP on TV - Lost Season 3 Better Late than Never!

Welcome back to Pop Culture Panorama.  Today I’ll be talking about the TV show Lost.  I never watched Lost when it was first on the air, and by the time I wanted to watch the show, all I heard about it was that it was confusing and if you were jumping in to it late, you would be totally… well, lost.  I knew this would be a show I’d like, because I love the work of J.J. Abrams, especially Fringe, and I love sci-fi in general.  So this summer I resolved to watch the entire run of the show on DVD.  I just completed power-discing through the third season now, and these are my thoughts and observations about this show. (WARNING:  mild spoilers ahead if you’re like me and never saw the show before).

  • So the Others have a whole community with a small village and everything?  WTF?  That was quite the shocking opener to the 3rd season.
  • Again with the cliffhangers each week.  We don’t find out until the 3rd episode of the season what happened when Desmond threw the failsafe in the hatch, and whether or not he, Locke, and Eko survived, and that was one of the main cliffhangers from the 2nd season finale.  Colleen gets shot by Sun in the 2nd episode, but whether or not she survives isn’t resolved until the 4th episode of the season when she dies.  Also, one of the biggest cliffhangers from the 2nd season finale – the ship that detected the magnetic burst from the island then reported back to Penny wasn’t seen again until late in the season, but then we find out that the ship we think was Penny’s ship wasn’t actually Penny’s ship.  It’s almost as if the writers forgot about that as it took almost the whole season to get to that.
  • Did Sun’s lover jump to his death or was he thrown to his death?  I’m thinking thrown – as he had that necklace in his hand as he died.
  • I liked how they teased us with Desmond seeing the future in the 3rd episode and 4th episode before explaining it more clearly later in the 8th episode.  They didn’t explain until even later (the 17th episode) how it is that Desmond seemingly can see multiple futures – each time he prevents Charlie’s death, he now has the knowledge of how to prevent the next one, because he gets a vision.
The rest of my thoughts are after the jump.  There's a lot for this season!

  • Just how many polar bears were there on the island?  Locke encountered one that he torched in the 3rd episode this season (which was badass by the way) but left it alive, and then there was the one from the 1st season they killed.  Also, if they were on the 2nd island in the Dharma cages, how did they get over to the main island the survivors are on?
  • I loved how bad-ass Jack was – cutting Ben and giving him an hour to live, forcing the Others to let Kate & Sawyer go or he’d let Ben die.  That was cold blooded.
  • Sawyer is a pimp – he’s gotten it on with both Ana Lucia and Kate.  Poor Jack L
  • I had totally forgotten that Kate said she’d been married briefly before, back in the 1st season I think.  They finally show us who her spouse was, and its Nathan Fillion.  I love that guy and I’ll watch him in anything – Castle is one of my favorite shows on TV now.
  • When Eko was talking to Yemi before his death, was Yemi the smoke monster taking human form?
  • Wow, Penny’s dad is a total douche.  Telling Desmond that he’s not even worthy to drink his scotch, much less marry his daughter?  That was harsh.
  • I knew as soon as Juliet said that she would need her ex-husband to get hit by a bus in order for her to work for the company offering her a job, he would indeed die by bus crash.
  • I laughed out loud when Hurley’s chicken shack was blown up by a meteorite, and also when they revealed that Locke’s dad was on the island.  Those moments were great.
  • I love how Hurley is sort of becoming the comic relief as well as the voice of the audience.  I also liked how he deadpanned to Juliet that the last one of the Others that infiltrated their camp, Ethan, was “buried right over there.”
  • Notice how no one checked a pulse on Mikhail?  That was a big mistake.  Considering Locke was with them, who knows all too well about the island’s mystical healing powers, he should have checked for a darn pulse.  Although it did lead to Mikhail saving the helicopter pilot’s life, it also resulted in a bunch of deaths at Mikhail’s hands as well.
  • It was only for a split second, but I liked how the monk had a photo of himself with the woman from the jewelry store that knows about the island.  Definitely setting up Desmond to have his role to play on the island, and yet again it’s a nice connection between characters, but it’s also something that if you blink, you miss it.
  • So Kate met Sawyer’s ex?  Again with the connections before the island for these people.
  • So the con-man that caused Sawyer’s parents’ deaths was Locke’s dad?  Nice.  Glad to see Sawyer finally got his revenge too.  Right up til the end Locke’s dad was a total douche.  Good riddance.
  • I loved how Rousseau showed up at the Black Rock while Locke was waiting for Sawyer to kill Locke’s dad.  It was a funny moment, kind of a “nothing to see here, move along” moment.  At the time I wondered what she needed the dynamite for, but they later showed that it was for the booby-traps for the Others.
  • So that’s what happened to the Dharma people – Ben, who was a kid of one of them, killed almost all of them, with the help of the Others.  Wow, Ben is a sadistic guy.  Also, it turns out that the van Hurley found contained the remnants of Ben’s dad Roger.  Since Roger was a heavy drinker, that explains all the beer in the van too.
  • At first I didn’t get the line on Ben’s birthday when he said to Richard “Do you remember those?” but then when they showed Richard back in the 70s, he looked exactly the same.  I’m guessing he’s immortal somehow.
  • The actress who played Ben’s mom in the flashbacks is the real-life wife of the actor that plays the adult Ben.
  • When Ben on the island sees his mother, was that the smoke monster also?
  • So when Ben arranges for all of the Dharma staff to be killed in the Purge, he even kills the girl that he presumably had a love interest in, Annie.  They didn’t show her as older though, only as a kid, so maybe she’d left the island?
  • Maybe this is interesting only to me:  The actor who played Horace Goodspeed was in The Punisher: War Zone, and the actress who played his wife was in The Punisher.
  • Locke keeps getting dumped on my the island:  he keeps getting injured in his legs, including a branch through one, and then the legs are nearly crushed by the blast doors in the Swan station, and then he gets shot by Ben and dumped on the corpses of the Dharma people.  Speaking of which, why didn’t they cover up that mass grave, as opposed to leaving it uncovered?  I guess they couldn’t be bothered with the effort, but if so, why dig a grave at all?
  • Ok, so I know Charlie felt he had to die because of Desmond’s prophecy, but at the same time he’s an idiot.  He could have just as easily gone to the other side of the door and closed it from the side that Desmond was on, preventing the whole station from flooding and allowing himself to live.  Oh well.
  • I loved how Hurley helped save the day back on the beach.  I was feeling so bad for him because no one wanted him around, but it turns out he saved the day.
  • Wow Sayid is awesome.  He can kill a man with just his legs, with his hands tied behind his back.
  • So if the boat isn’t Penny’s boat, then whose boat is it?
  • And what Naomi said is bothering me – how did they find the wreckage of Oceanic 815?  Does that mean they’re all dead (and Naomi is dead too from her helicopter crash)? 
  • Whose funeral was Jack at in the flash forward he experienced?  And also, when those flash forwards happen, I assume that the characters are not actually able to see their futures but that it is more for the audience’s benefit, right?
  • Wow, the kid that played Walt grew up fast.  Major puberty growth spurt on that kid.
  • Don’t mess with Locke or he’ll throw a knife into your back.  I have a feeling that he and Ben are right, and that they shouldn’t be contacting Naomi’s boat. 
  • Sci-Fi actors from other stuff on Lost:  Juliet is played by Elizabeth Mitchell, who would later star on V.  Colleen, played by Paula Malcomson, was later a star on Caprica, and also did guest spots on Star Trek Enterprise, The Event, and Fringe.  In the 3rd episode with Locke’s flashback, he encounters undercover cop Eddie, played by Justin Chatwin, who was in War of the Worlds, Taken (the sci-fi series not the awesome Liam Neeson flick) & Dragonball Evolution.  The Warden from Sawyer’s flashback was in Predator (also filmed on Hawaii if I remember correctly), Battlestar Galactica, & X-Men 3.  Nathan Fillion, aka Castle currently on TV (one of my favorite shows) appears in Kate’s flashback.  Aside from Castle, Fillion is well known for his starring role in Firefly & Serenity, as well as from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Juliet’s ex-husband was Zeljko Ivanek, who would later star in Heroes and The Event.  Richard Alpert is played by Nestor Carbonell, the Mayor from Dark Knight & Dark Knight Rises.  The Jewelry store owner from Desmond’s flashback that knows about the island and Desmond’s time traveling is played by Fionnula Flanagan, who has appeared on Enterprise, TNG, & DS9.  Bai Ling shows up in Jack’s flashback, she’s been in The Crow, Angel, and had scenes deleted from Star Wars episode III.  Cheech Marin is Hurley’s dad, is from a lot of things but his only sci-fi role is From Dusk til Dawn.  The Other Bea Klugh was on Star Trek TNG and the X-Files, as well as I Am Legend.  From Sayid’s flashback, the Iraqi Sami, who’s wife was tortured, is played by Shaun Toub who was in Iron Man, The Last Airbender, and Sliders.  Ben’s dad, Roger, was played by Jon Gries, who was on The Pretender, X-Files, and although it’s not quite sci-fi, he was also in one of my favorite cult classics Real Genius.  In Nikki’s flashback, there is an appearance by Billy Dee Williams, aka Lando Calrissian from Star Wars, playing himself (as she was an actress working with him).  Horace Goodspeed of the Dharma Initiative was played by Dough Hutchinson, who had a memorable stint as a villain on X-Files, and was also in the Green Mile and Lawnmower Man.  Bonnie from the Others was in DS9, X-Files, Angel, & Millenium.
  • Body count for the season (on the island only, not off-island):  63 (give or take).  Colleen, one of the Others, is shot to death by Sun.  Mr. Eko is killed by the Smoke Monster.  Danny, one of the Others, is shot to death by fellow Other Juliet.  Bea Klugh, one of the Others, is shot to death by another one of the Others, Mikhail.  Nikki & Paulo, glorified redshirts, get paralyzed by spiders and then are buried alive during their funerals.  Locke’s Dad is strangled by Sawyer.  Ben personally gasses his father Roger to death, and then almost all of the staff of the Dharma Initiative is killed by Ben & The Others in a gas attack – I’m just gonna go with a nice round 40 for that body count, as Ben says later that he killed over 40 people in one day.  5 of the Others are killed in the booby-trapped dynamite explosion on the beach by Sayid & Bernard, and Jin shoots and kills 2 more of them.  Hurley runs over the Other Ryan with the Dharma van.  Sayid (while tied up) uses his legs to take down and snap the neck of another Other.  Sawyer shoots and kills the Other Tom as he was surrendering, the same man that shot Sawyer back in season 1.  Mikhail shoots and kills 2 of his fellow Others, Greta & Bonnie, on Ben’s orders.  Mikhail kills himself with a grenade (after being speargunned in the chest by Desmond, but again no one bothered to check his pulse) in an attempt to stop Charlie and Desmond from communicating with the outside world.  Charlie drowns as a result of Mikhail’s grenade explosion.  Locke throws a knife at Naomi and it embeds in her back.
  • Items from earlier seasons postings that I had questions on that were now resolved:  the polar bears got on the island from the Dharma Initiative – their cage was what Sawyer and Kate were kept in when prisoners of the Others.  Locke, Eko, & Desmond all survived the disaster at the hatch.  Kate was married briefly to a cop.  Yes, Sun did cheat on Jin with the bald Korean guy that was teaching her English, but it’s not his baby but Jin’s after all.  Henry’s real name is Ben.  We find out when Jack got his tattoos, as well as what they mean.  We find out that the kidnapped people from the tail section are still alive.  In the 12th episode we learn that Claire is Jack’s half-sister, although Claire doesn’t learn her dad’s name and the relationship between her and Jack.  We finally learn how Locke found himself in a wheelchair in the 13th episode.  Sawyer finally meets the conman who caused his parents’ deaths and gets his revenge.  Sawyer also gets revenge on Tom for shooting him in the 1st season.

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