Tuesday, October 24, 2006

S3Ep3 - Further Instructions (Locke's fifth flashback)

Hello my dear friends -

SEE! I TOLD YOU there was a time warp!

Lost went back to the 60s, psychedelic-style, this episode... from Locke's trippy Boone and airport hallucinations to his peace and pot-lovin' "family" featured in his flashbacks. And of course Desmond is jumping into the FUTURE...

Vincent is a poor excuse for a dog!But before getting into the details, let me first state that overall, I did NOT like this episode. As Triumph the Comic Insult Dog would say best, this episode was great... for me to POOP ON! Yes, I know that this must come as a shocker as the focus was on my man Locke. I WAS and AM happy that he is back to his island-worshipping ways, that he's checked his bitterness at the sweat lodge door and that he has regained his confidence. However, this episode was what they call "a filler," and there is no way to deny it. Basically, nothing happened. Therefore, there's not a heck of a lot to comment on this time around, although I've still managed to spend hours on this post and Return of the King.am cursing the living daylights out of Bill Gates because Explorer keeps crashing and I keep losing everything.

But back to Lost... The scary part is that we are now officially half-way through the first part of the mini-season, with only 3 episodes left before the break until February! These last three better be really awesome to make up for the crap that was 'Further Instructions.'

Since it is not my job to only tell you what I think, I do have to report that the vast, vast majority of people on the boards absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED this episode. Perhaps everyone was influenced by the hippies in Locke's flashbacks, but love is in the air for the series again. I was totally shocked. I thought I was going to be reading a sea of raving mad posts, cries for "answers," threats to boycott, and declarations of abandoning the show. Yet it was completely the opposite, with some people going so far as to say this was the "best episode in a year." To that I say... (you should know what I'm going to say by now): "Saaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?????"

Enough with my complaining - there were a few things of note to talk about, so here we go:


WHAT A LONG, STRANGE TRIP IT'S BEEN

Yes, it's true that you will never be prettier than me.Remember in Season 1 when Locke slapped a bunch of goop all over Boone's head and it caused him to have crazy hallucinations about the monster killing Shannon? Well, that goop (most likely some form of peyote that Locke has MacGyverishly whipped up) worked its wonders once again, this time on Locke himself. And lo and behold, who did the sweat lodge spirits summon but He Of the Well-Groomed Eyebrows, Subtly-Placed-Eyeliner and Ever-So-Lovingly-Coiffed Hair. That's right, my friends... BOONE was back in all of his glory, to the delight of shrieking 14-year-old-female fans everywhere. I just checked back in my email archives to when I used to send these write-ups out the old-fashioned way, and sure enough, there it was in writing - I cheered and high-fived my friends when Boone so unceremoniously died in "Do No Harm." Therefore, I was not pleased to see him again. It would've been cooler to have had Peg Bundy appear. But whatever, we are stuck with Boone.

So Boone ends up serving no purpose, much like the episode at large. He wheels Locke around in a dream that takes place in the fateful Sydney airport, for no other reason than to get Locke to figure out that he needs to "clean up his mess" and help save Eko. Duh! I could've told Locke that just from watching the "previously on Lost" clips! As Boone fades back into the ether, the teepee fire goes out with a polar bear roar. Somehow from all of this, Locke not only gets his voice and his cojones back, but also figures out that Eko has been dragged off by a polar bear yet is still alive somewhere and must be rescued. Um, did the ABC interns take over writing this episode or what? Weak.

The Happy Faux Family.Before we completely leave the sweat lodge, however, let me just mention one small bit of possible foreshadowing. As Locke is seeing all of the characters in the airport, when he points to Charlie, Claire and Turniphead, Boone says, "Not them, they'll be fine -- for a while." Perhaps that was meant to signal that the budding romance between Charlie and Claire will not remain happy for much longer... or that Turniphead will finally be kidnapped, or morph into the Anti-Christ. I mean, it's gotta mean SOMETHING bad will happen to them, right?

And let us not forget that this was not the first freaktastic premonition of Locke's. Who can forget his crazy "Theresa falls up the stairs, Theresa falls down the stairs" vision, complete with a bloody Boone? That hallucination actually foretold Boone's death.



FUTURE LOCKE SIDE-KICKS, BEWARE!

LOCKE: I'm going to go on alone, Charlie. You go back to Claire.
CHARLIE: Well, I'll take my chances.
LOCKE: You don't want to go with me, Charlie. Bad things happen to people who hang around with me.

You know, every time there's a Locke flashback, I get depressed. This guy has really had a crappy life, has he not? This flashback showed us what ended up happening to Locke after his daddy skipped town post-fake-funeral and his fiance dumped him. What else could Locke have done but... join a hippie pot-growing cult? I must admit I was a tad surprised by that turn of events, but it actually all makes sense now since Locke has been meditating, waxing poetic and dropping bizarro references ever since the pilot episode. This man will go to great lengths to feel like he is part of a family.

So much so that he was psychologically profiled by the police as being easily influencable, which has definitely been confirmed over the past few seasons. Along comes undercover agent Eddie, whom Locke immediately tries to take under his wing... and he falls right into the trap that was planned for him.

While we saw that at the very end, after confronting Eddie about the truth and threatening him with a rifle, Locke didn't turn out to be a killer and lowered the gun to let Eddie escape, we know that all must not have turned out well for Eddie from Locke's line at the top of this section. My guess is that the other "family" members killed Eddie, and perhaps Locke even got caught in the cross-fire and that's how he ended up paralyzed. Either way, I'm sure the story with Eddie didn't end where the flashback in this episode ended.

I'm a hunter, not a farmer!How many people thought Locke was going to shoot Eddie? I must admit that I did. Even though there was a little voice saying to me, "He can't shoot him because otherwise he wouldn't be "one of the good ones" as Benry told him he was last season..." there was another voice saying that maybe this would prove that The Others DON'T know everything about everyone on the island. It would've also added yet another person to the ever-growing "murderer" roll call on Flight 815.


But I should've had more faith in Locke, for God's sake. He did the right thing.



GERONIMOOOOOOOOOOOOO!


Groovy.THE SETTING: Hippie cult luncheon
MIKE [referring to Eddie's shirt]: So, you like Geronimo Jackson, huh?
EDDIE: Uh, yeah, yeah, they're alright. It's one of my dad's old shirts.
MIKE: Your dad has excellent taste.

Geronimo Jackson is alive again! The first time we heard reference to this band was when Hurley and Charlie came across their album in the hatch. This led some people to theorize that Eddie's dad must be in the Dharma Initiative. Or that Mike (lead hippie cult guy) is...

Someone on the boards also pointed out: "The advertising really goes full circle for this show - the Jeep Compass commercial played "New York Streets" by Geronimo Jackson." I missed that one!!! Lost writers: constantly finding new ways for people to stop using Tivo to forward through commercials. Ingenious!


SWAN HATCH, MAY YOU REST IN PEACE

This post from the boards sums it up best: "Philosophical question: if a hatch implodes in the jungle and no one dies...was it ever really there? Does anybody care?"

It's safe to say that the writers have officially, literally and figuratively written off the hatch. Swan Hatch, you served us well. We only knew you from the outside for half of Season 1, but all through Season 2 you were there for us. You will be remembered fondly. You will also be forever memorialized in my condo (see below)... may you rest in peace.


e's condo decorations for the premiere.  Yes, I'm over 30 and this is what my place looks like...


BROWN IS THE NEW BLACK, LOCKE IS THE NEW JACK

Not only has Locke usurped Jack's position as "leader of the Lostaways," he's also stolen his opening scene of the entire series - nearly frame for frame. It is actually pretty strange... see for yourself!

Some people thought that 'Further Instructions,' the title of this episode, was a reference to Locke receiving direction from "the island" once again. Others, however, pointed out that it could be a reference to the fact that Eko's Jesus Stick has a new inscription on it: "Lift up your eyes and look north - John 3:05." This may give Locke a clue as to where to head to go save Kate, Jack and Sawyer.



THE BEAR NECESSITIES

The Remains of the Cave.If you know anything about polar bears, then you know that they all keep toy Tonka trucks in their caves.

Yeah, toy trucks, human skeletons, and Dharma Pearl Hatch logos...

That's right, if you were watching closely, then you saw all of those things strewn around ol' Whitey's cave. Some suspect that perhaps the Dharma Initiative lived in those caves and the polar bear eventually moved in after they moved out. Remember that in Season 1 we saw a cave behind the waterfall that also housed skeletons and black and white stones...



UM... DID SOMEONE TELL HIM IT'S NO LONGER A GOOD THING TO BE COMPARED TO TOM CRUISE?

Please don't let me become known as 'The Guy Who Went Insane Like Tom Cruise' one day!If you blinked then you missed it... two new characters were lamely introduced this episode - Paulo and Nikki. Need to see it again?

Anyway, supposely the actor who plays Paulo (Rodrigo Santoro) is known in his homeland as "The Brazilian Tom Cruise." I know him as "That guy who Laura Linney obsessed over in 'Love, Actually.'" Either way, it was a cop-out way to enter the show - with Locke just acting like we've known these two for the past two seasons - very similar to what they did with poor Arnzt. And we all know what happened to HIM!




LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN...

WHEN WILL YOU PEOPLE LISTEN TO ME!?!

THERE *IS* A TIME WARP GOING ON, or my name isn't, e, dammit!

How many of you have read The Time Traveler's Wife? Raise your hands. OK. For those of you who have not read it, stop reading THIS and go out and get it, because it is one of my top 3 favorite books of all time. Shout-out to T.V. for giving it to me! And dammit if Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt didn't buy the movie rights BEFORE they got divorced, so now the movie will never get made. It's probably better that way. For those of you who HAVE read it (and fear not, I am giving away nothing by saying this for those of you who are going to follow my orders and read it), then you may recall that whenever Henry time-traveled, he wound up naked. Hello!?!?!?! HELLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! This is what the result is when you have ZERO artistic skills.

Desmond has been time traveling! The Hatch didn't blow off his clothes, please. I'm betting anyone who will take me up on it, right now, five bucks says that eventually we will find out Desmond has traveled into the future whether he knew it or not. I am saying this completely spoiler free, and I actually have no money, so I'm banking that none of you can find where I live if I'm wrong.

But whether he time-traveled, or got Walt-like psychic powers as a result of the hatch implosion, or if he's "like the Hulk" per Hurley's assessment, it is clear that something is going on with our favorite Scottish brotha.

Another reason to suspect a time warp is the fact that Charlie stated that Locke had been gone a full day... and all of a sudden, a DAY AFTER the hatch implosion, Mr. Eko's Jesus Stick comes falling out of the sky? Hmmmmmmmmmm?

The final strange incident was Mr. Eko briefly regaining consciousness and reminding Locke that he "is a hunter"... which is exactly what Locke had just been remembering himself saying to Eddie in his flashback. That might not have been the result of Eko time-traveling, but it's definitely strange.



SHOULD I BET AGAINST MYSELF?

OK, so although it is very clear that I am desperately hoping that there will be time travel in this series, I just read a post that makes me reconsider what I said above.

Gratuitous Desmond pic for the ladies.Judge for yourself: "Tonight I was watching this episode with my husband, who doesn't normally watch the show, and he asked a question that I didn't have an answer to - "Is Hurley the only one who can see Desmond?" Interesting, because there's no evidence that anyone besides Hurley has acknowledged Desmond's presence. Thoughts?"

D'OH! This person is RIGHT! I just re-read all of the parts with Hurley and Desmond and sure enough, they are alone. Dude.  Dude.Even at the end when Desmond is shown throwing rocks into the sea, and it appears that Charlie is looking at him, all that is certain is that Charlie is looking out to follow where Hurley's eyes were. Hurley does not actually reference Desmond:

CHARLIE [to Hurley]: Not a bad speech.
HURLEY: Whoa.
CHARLIE: Whoa, what?
HURLEY: I just got hit with, you know, deja vu. [Hurley looks at Desmond again]
CHARLIE [looking in the direction of Desmond and then back at Hurley]: Okay. Well, when that wears off can you get bandages from the kitchen?
[Hurley continues staring as Desmond. The last shot we see is of Desmond looking out to sea -- worried and slightly crazed.]

After all that, I've decided that I'm sticking with the Time Travel theory because technically Locke did see Naked Desmond run by in the opening scene. Didn't he... ?



OTHER RANDOM THINGS OF NOTE

- The epiosode started with an eye opening yet again...
- Charlie was ultra, ultra annoying. I kept praying that Locke would use him as polar bear bait.
- To all of you who thought that that head hippie guy in Locke's camp was Zeke The Other, you are wrong.
- The best part of Lost this week wasn't even on the show, or on the right network for that matter. It was on 'The Office' (around 1 minute 25 seconds).




BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE

[Locke continues gesturing while Charlie guesses what he's saying]
CHARLIE: You need to speak? To me? What do you want to--?
[Locke grabs a handful of sand]
CHARLIE: Sand? You need to speak to the sand?
[Locke gestures toward the tree line]
CHARLIE: Trees? Yeah, I've heard they're wonderful conversationalists. (e: if that wasn't a shout-out to LOTR fans, I don't know what is...)



CHARLIE: I need your help? Since when do you need my help?
[Locke writes something else on the paper.]
CHARLIE: I need you to stand guard? Oh yeah, so you can talk to the island. Dangerous. Well, amusing as the mute game invariably is, you are aware, John, that I detest you, aren't you? You do remember repeatedly punching me in the face and accusing me of using heroin when I was not?




[We see that Locke has built a sweat lodge inside the frame of the church. He's mixing something in a coconut bowl, as Charlie looks on.]
CHARLIE: What's that? You're not taking drugs are you, John? I only ask because of the strict zero tolerance policy you've enacted, and I wouldn't want you to have to start punching yourself in the face.
[Locke shows Charlie a note that says: I need u 2 stand guard].
CHARLIE: Yeah, I know, I get it. You're going to go in your little magic hut and I'm going to stand out here in case you devolve into a monkey.




CHARLIE: What's that? More fur?
LOCKE: This way.
CHARLIE: You know, when I used to get high, I'd watch nature programs on the Beeb. Polar bears are meant to be quite clever. Very clever. They're like the Einsteins of the bear community.



WISE WORDS FROM THE BOARDS

- What's not to love here? Charlie with excellent snark. Naked Desmond. The return of Hunter!Locke. Eko - alive! Polar bears. Paulo. Hot!Dead!Boone. Again, Paulo. No people in cages. Only thing missing for me was Sayid. As for not finding out about the wheelchair? I'm patient. In fact, I don't want that answered for a bit longer. Anticipation is nearly always better than the real thing.
- So Locke is a 'hunter' but he did not shoot the sheriff? (sorry, now I have that song running in my head).
- Definitely the best episode in a while - probably because it was missing the annoying love triangle. I love Desmond as the t-shirt prophet. It seems like he may be joining Locke and Eko as the 3rd spiritual leader. I can't wait to find out if his seeming super power sticks. Also, I like that the island is communicating to these gurus through their dreams -showing them the future. Eko apparently had his own bit of prognostication while unconscious.
- Aaaaaaaaahhhh...this episode felt more like the show I know. Poor John, everybody he trusts craps all over him. I may have to rewatch the tape to see if I can catch any Desmond hiney when he was skipping rocks.
- Did anyone think for a moment or two that Eko died when they were trying to give him water? I had an "oh shit" moment there, remembering the latest DUI infraction, but then when they were dragging him back to camp I figured it was just me being nervous.
- Locke's vision - I loved it. I thought it was very interesting. I liked the forshadowing that Claire and Charlie might be soon facing some trouble. It is odd that Locke's vision seemed to know all the random shit everyone was going through, even though Locke may not consciously know all these things. I also like that deadBoone seemed so bored by all of it, but also mildly contemptuous of Locke and his bullshit. I also loved the return of bloody dead Boone at the end of the vision. Locke ran away from it the first time around.
- Locke is BAAAACKKK and I am off the bitterness for this episode at least. This is the best episode I have seen in about a year. I've said it before and I will say it again, Locke OWNS this show. I guess the Hunter has been re-reset. Even the flashback was relevant and, I thought, very well executed. I was angry while watching, thinking "if Locke shoots that cop, I am so not watching anymore", but he did the appropriate thing for his character.
- Is Eko's leg gone, or am I seeing things? If so, is he going to use the Jesus stick as a peg-leg?
- Clearly, Desmond's knowing about Locke's "speech" before Hurley did is a major bit of info. But I'm not willing to assume the Desmond is a "precog"...What if he's been time-shifted? Or like Billy Pilgrim, for just a little while, unstuck in time?There's been much speculation that time on the Island passes at a rate different than in the outside world... what if the Island's running slow, and Desmond's proximity to the tremendous forces unleashed in the hatch "implosion" had him running on external time for a while, and while he's now back on Island time, he's still running ahead? I know, it sounds half-baked, but remember Locke almost being hit by Eko's Jesus stick falling from the sky? I don't know how long it's been since the blast, but it's certainly been far longer than it should have taken the stick to fall. Could "Island Slo-Time" explain the delay?
- It was good to get the ol' Lost back. I didn't miss the Others one bit.
- I thought this episode was the best so far, and that’s saying a lot considering last week’s fantastic episode. In my mind, the writer’s seem to save their best stuff for Locke-centric episodes — and Terry O’Quinn absolutely owns that character. I was literally tensing up during the will-he-won’t-he scene pointing the rifle at the kid cop. That’s the first time in a long time I wasn’t sure of what a tv character would do. Bravo to the writers and Mr. O’Quinn for that scene. I thought the dream sequence was fantastic. I really liked the symbolism of Ben (Henry) as the security guard, w/ Jack at the metal detector — it really did bring to mind the Others as “gatekeepers” off the island and Jack getting ready to (presumably) depart.
- Next week looks intense. Perhaps the reason they abducted the three was for the love triangle. But it also brought to mind the fact that Jack and Kate both woke up with bandages for what was presumably an IV while Sawyer didn’t…perhaps that has something to do with what happens to him next week?
- Good thing that the polar bear was more like a Wampa Ice Creature and brought Mr. Eko back to the cave alive.
- The moral of this episode was: HALLUCINOGENIC DRUGS SAVE LIVES. I wish Locke had gotten the stones to shoot Donnie Brasco. I was begging him to do it. CLEAN UP THE MESS, DUDE! I can't believe he wimped out on that. SUN has more balls than he does! She backs up those threats. But Locke? Unbelievable. But yeah...good episode. It brought back CreepyShamanLocke and I've missed him so. Yes...we must bring together THE FAMILY. Bring our friends HOME. *oOoOoOoOooo* You nutty drugtrip chasing bastard I love you.
- I liked the Locke flashback a lot because it echoed (pun not intended) Locke's entire time on the island. When we see him on the farm, he is someone who has found his faith again and received some sort of atonement for whatever he did prior to arriving at the farm. The same thing can be said of Locke after he arrived on the island (he could walk and he found his faith in the island) until he found the hatch... which is similar to when he picked up the hitchhiker because both the hitchhiker and the hatch made him lose his faith as soon as they both showed themselves to be not what Locke believed them to be. Because of this, Locke got desperate; desperate enough to do something crazy to fix things so he can go back to his happy ignorant place. In both cases, when at the moment of do or die (not entering the code in the hatch and pulling the trigger) he repents and regrets letting things get to this point. The episode is a great character study on Locke himself and why he is the way he is.
- As for the airport scene, it's the Jack, Kate, and Sawyer images I'm the most interested in. First off they're behind a security wall so Locke can see them but can't do anything, which works because it ties to the episode how he can't continue until he saves Eko. The big one for me is Ben being airport security and blocking Kate, Sawyer, and Jack from moving on. Is this symbolic because he's keeping them and only them from going home/becoming an "Other" or is it symbolic because he's only checking on Jack to allow Jack the chance to go home/become an "Other?"
- This is actually very interesting, the idea that Locke, who is certainly more of a badass hunter than some of the other more passive characters on this show, would not choose to kill when given the opportunity, even if it meant that killing a guy would help keep his family together. Contrast that with Michael.
- In all the flashbacks, Locke has only wanted love and acceptance from whatever family he could find, always to be denied. Michael, even up until the plane left Sydney, was trying to pawn Walt off on someone else (remember the phone call to his mother?). Michael killed two innocent people to retain a family he didn't care about until he lost it, Locke wouldn't kill even to save the thing he wanted most in the world. Very interesting characters in this show when you look beyond the surface.


3... 2... 1

10/25 - Every Man for Himself - I am FRIGHTENED by this preview??!

11/1 - The Cost of Living

11/8 - I Do (Mini-Finale)



Until next week,

- e

5 comments:

Proud Papa said...

Thanks for the write-up. I, too, was sad to see cool boy make an appearance. UGGGGGGG. Now the guy probably thinks he is indispensible to the show. Go home!!!! And take Sun with you.

I don't see Locke as a drug type. I'm confused.

Jake said...

FYI-I have decided to follow in Desmond's footsteps and walk around naked. It's been pretty good so far but I'm a little worried about how things are going to turn out once I leave my apartment.

I do have a quick question/comment. I can't understand how Charlie could leave the hatch where Locke, Desmond, and Eko had just been involved in an Island-shaking explosion only to sit on the beach for an entire day without a care in the world. That just isn't believable. If I've missed something, then I apologize. But, I'm pretty sure he pretended nothing happened and didn't tell anybody else what had just went down.

How can that not be addressed?

Abby said...

I love Dwight Shrute and his reference to the Darma Initiative :-).

And, don't shoot me, but I actually kinda like having Boone back on the show ... the DeadBoone character is much better than AliveBoon. And you've gotta admit that he's easy on the eyes. Yes, I know, I'm now banished from Belmont Hatch ;-)

Anonymous said...

Where did you get that awesome Hatch Map poster?!?!?!? I want one!

e said...

Uh... we MADE the Hatch Map poster, complete with glow in the dark/black light paints. You can't be surprised by this!