Monday, April 02, 2007

S3Ep14 - Exposé (Nikki and Paulo's one and only flashback)

Take a long, last look at us!Hello my dear friends -

Hmmm, where to begin with this write-up? Perhaps I will begin with my thoughts at the end of the episode: "Well, this one's going to be a short post!"

On the boards, most people seemed to enjoy the show for what it was - entertaining filler. While I, too, DID enjoy "Exposé," there wasn't a heck of a lot that happened that's worth analyzing. It was pretty much a stand-alone episode, just like Paulo and Nikki (or, Pikki, as they are called on the boards) were pretty much just stand-alone characters. Had they never existed, the show wouldn't have suffered or have been much different.

I felt that this post summed it up nicely:
"A celebration of the craft, and a nod and a wink to the conventions that go along with getting something out on the air week after week. A very personal gift from the writers. As has been said before, very meta and self-referential; if you can provide the requisite suspension of disbelief, a unique sit-around-the-campfire for those who are committed to going along for the ride."

Shake, baby, shake, baby - 1, 2, 3, 4!My brother had a slightly less insightful comment regarding the episode (but true nonetheless):
"The last song I EVER thought I’d hear on Lost? 'Rump Shaker.'"

There are precious few things to discuss or debate, and I think some people on the boards are making this episode more complicated than it really was, but since my duty is to report the theories and topics, here we go...


THIS WRITE-UP SPONSORED BY COLT 45

How awesome was it to see good ol' Lando again? Although I must admit, I didn't even recognize him at first - must've been the hat and his lack of a cape.

Did you realize that the show Locke was watching in the previous episode was Exposé? After Locke's episode, many people scoured the Internet looking for TV shows with the characters "The Cobra" and "Crystal," but alas, it was Exposé, which exists only in Lost-world.

Another connection was back in Desmond's trippy "time-travel" flashback... Exposé was one of the many Lost-centric advertisers around the soccer field shown on the TV screen in the pub.




MORE THAN JUST A VACANT STARE?

This is the extent of my acting abilities!When Nikki first found Paulo near the plane wreckage on the beach, he was definitely staring zombie-like out at the sea. Why she didn't turn around to see if he was looking at something specific was annoying to me... she just kept smacking him to get his attention, and then of course asked about the bag (no love!). Was Paulo looking at anything in particular, or was he just in shock after the crash?




NUDGE NUDGE, WINK WINK

As mentioned in the post I pasted in earlier, the entire hour seemed like one big inside-joke to many people. Consider these scenes:

- After filming her character's death scene, the director of Exposé (Howard) suggests to Nikki that she "can always be brought back next season." ... And then who comes trotting out again but Shannon, Boone, Dr. Artz and Ethan, all characters killed off in Season One.

- But Nikki's response was, "Look, I'm just a guest star - and we all know what happens to guest stars." This was most likely a reference to all of the "not-main-characters" who have died on the show thus far.

I should take the Tom Cruise comparison as an insult, right?- Howard (Nikki's sugar daddy) refers to Paulo as "The Wolfgang Puck of Brazil," which was definitely a shout-out to the fact that the actor who plays him, Rodrigo Santoro, is literally ALWAYS introduced as "The Tom Cruise of Brazil" in any interview or article.

- After witnessing Shannon and Boone's argument in the airport, Nikki pleads to Paulo: "Promise me we'll never end up like them!" Well, ummm, they did... all of them are dead now. Also, I thought that scene was probably meant to be humorous in another way, since Nikki was just assuming that Shannon and Boone were a couple, when WE all know that they were romantically-involved step-siblings. Pop quiz - which of these 5 is still alive?  Hint: She is a brunette.After seeing them again... can't say I'm sorry they're gone!

- Dr. Artz's tirade that "the pigs are walking! the pigs are walking!!!" was an allusion to Animal Farm, where "some animals are more equal than others," and the pigs start walking around like humans at the very end. In this case, Artz is pointing out that the clique that we've come to know as "the Lostaways" was acting superior to the rest of the crash survivors (a fact he also brought up to Hurley before being blown up).

- Sawyer's repeated questioning of "Who the hell is Nikki" played up fans' frustration that both Nikki and Paulo just came out of nowhere this season.

- The fact that Nikki and Paulo kept key information from the other survivors, on top of being smarter about some of their finds than our beloved Lostaways were, was also done intentionally, many believe.

Take, for instance, their conversation about the "drug plane":

Paulo: Another plane. Looks like it's been here awhile.
Nikki: Go up there. Maybe there's a radio or somewhere...
Paulo: Are you insane? If I go up there that thing is gonna fall.

Duh! Why didn't Locke and Boone figure that out!

Paulo and Nikki also found The Pearl hatch before Locke and Eko did, and Paulo even knew about The Others' plans to kidnap Jack. However, most fans thought that their back-story of searching for $8 million in missing diamonds made it at least somewhat believable as to why Nikki and Paulo didn't get closer to the rest of the survivors.



A HINT FOR WHAT'S TO COME?

Not fair, she got to meet Billy Dee![Hurley continues to read the Exposé script]
Hurley: No way. Mr. LaShade was The Cobra?
Charlie: Is that supposed to mean something?
Hurley: Dude, The Cobra's this big bad guy. His identity's been shrouded in mystery for 4 seasons.


Hurley's last line made me wonder if it was meant as a hint about the future of Lost... the show's writers have often said that they've planned 5 years for the show - meaning that a lot of big answers would have to come in that final year. Does that perhaps mean we won't see Jacob (the supposed leader of The Others) until the very end?



HE MUST HAVE TAKEN A SPEED-READING CLASS

Sawyer got through The Fountainhead (752 pages in teeny font?!?!) and is now on to yet another book?

The book he was reading in this episode was Agatha Christie's murder-mystery Evil Under the Sun.


DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS

There's really not anything too important to mention about all of the past scenes that were shown again from different angles and viewpoints except that I think everyone would agree that it was cool. Props to the editors because they really did a damn good job of splicing Nikki in to the Season One crash scenes (no, they didn't re-shoot anything with the plane crash). Here is an example of how they did that.

One of the only new scenes was when Paulo was hiding in The Pearl hatch and overhearing Juliet and Ben. I thought it was interesting to see Juliet barefoot and in the old-school hillbilly Others' garb. It also appeared that they did come from a tunnel rather than from above-ground, but that wasn't totally clear, as Benry did instruct Juliet to have Zeke "cover the hatch with the plane."

I'm not going to get into the heavy debates on the boards about what may be a production/writing screw-up because it makes my head hurt, but I will tell you that there is a lot of drama going on about how the timing of that scene makes no sense (when the plane fell from the ledge versus when Michael was kidnapped (which Benry mentioned when they were watching Jack on the monitor)). In addition to the fact that the producers previously stated in a podcast that The Others had no knowledge of Kelvin or The Swan hatch, which is why Kelvin escaped The Purge. But Jack was IN the Swan Hatch... so did The Others only find out about it after both Kelvin and Desmond's time there? Like I said, my head hurts.


COUNT 'EM: THREE SIGNIFICANT HAPPENINGS

Most people think that there were only three things that happened in this episode that prevented if from being a completely "throw-away" hour.

1) Charlie confessed to kidnapping Sun, which she in turn confronted Sawyer about. This opens up the chance for her to one day clue Jin into what really happens. And we all know what happens when Jin gets mad or jealous...

2) The Lostaways now have a walkie-talkie that they can perhaps listen in on The Others with.

3) Sawyer tossed the diamonds into the grave at the end. As one person summed it up, "The Sawyer of three months ago would NOT have done that." Is he a changed man? Or have they ALL just kind of given up on any chance of rescue?



IT'S SMOKEY UP IN HERE

CSI: Craphole IslandThe only real debates there were regarding this episode on the boards revolved around Smokey. I couldn't help but notice that "the monster" was mentioned quite often in this episode. I figured that they must be wanting to make Smokey top of mind again with viewers because they may finally get around to explaining what it is before the season is over. Here are the Smokey mentions:

- Jin was convinced that it was Smokey that killed both Paulo and Nikki. Hurley later voiced his agreement.

- Nikki and Paulo specifically discussed Smokey shortly after the crash:

Nikki: How many times do I have to tell you there is no such thing as monsters?
Paulo: Maybe it was a dinosaur.
Nikki: It's not Jurassic Park, Paulo, it's the South Pacific.
Paulo: Then what was it? You saw the trees move.

- The guys discussed the significance of Eko's final words (which has been a hotly debated topic of the boards ever since Eko's death):

Hurley: I'm with Jin, it's the monster.
Sawyer: Yeah, because that makes the most sense.
Hurley: It does. Locke said when Eko died his last words were, 'you're next.' And Nikki and Paulo were with them. He was talking about them.
[They lay Paulo's body down beside Nikki's at the gravesite]
Sawyer: He wasn't saying 'you're next' about them. He was saying 'you're next' as in...'you're ALL next.'
Hurley: Yeah, that's not...really better.

- And then finally, many people (including myself) claim to have heard "Smokey noises" right before all of the spiders came and attacked Nikki. I thought it was plain as day, but many people who watched totally missed it. However, it is specifically noted in the transcripts (which, admittedly, are just written by a "normal" person, not anyone affiliated with the show):

[Nikki looks at him sadly and the clicking sound of the monster can be heard in the background. Nikki looks around for the source of the sound and sees nothing. Suddenly, lots of spiders are crawling towards her and one bites her on the leg.]

One person who also heard the clicking-Smokey sound had this take on it: "Remember last week, when Ben told Locke about the magic box that grants wishes? Right after Paulo said "if we found the diamonds you wouldn't need me anymore," the monster's "adding machine" sound was heard... then the spiders appeared, fulfilling Paulo's wish that he and Nikki would stay together. Just as people were speculating last week, the "monster" is actually what brings people's wishes true."

Others countered that it was specifically the bite of the female spider that Nikki threw at Paulo that was what attracted all of the male spiders, just as Artz had explained to her.

I think that there is room for both of these opinions... why can't Smokey have summoned the spiders just a little bit more quickly than they might have normally come in order to ensure that Nikki was bitten, thereby granting "Paulo's wish?"


DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

Yep, I'm dead!At the end of the show, I thought it was very obvious that Nikki and Paulo had been buried alive... and so they were going to die because, as one poster put it, "I couldn't move when I used to get buried up to my neck in the sand as a kid. There's no way they could escape from six feet under." There wasn't much debate about this on the boards, but I did talk to a few people who were surprised that I assumed that they wouldn't somehow be rescued. Here is a representative post from the boards on this topic from a "doubter":

"Incidentally, didn't the previews for this show say "one" of the Losties would be killed off? I'm guessing that someone (Vincent? Hurley?) is going to realize N/P are still alive and make a last ditch effort to dig them up...it'll be just in time for one, but not the other."

My answer to that would be: "Helloooo, when is the last time the previews have been correct?" Not in a long time. The people in charge of the previews (The ABC Promo Monkeys) are not the writers or producers of the show. So you can't put too much effort into analyzing the previews. I rest more faith in the fact that the writers have said that Nikki and Paulo would become "iconic" after this episode, and that "fans will be happy." Fans ARE now happy because Nikki and Paulo are GONE... and those characters are now iconic only because they were buried alive. If they somehow get rescued or rise from the dead, neither of those things would hold true anymore.

Other people pointed to the fact that Locke specifically told Paulo that "things don't stay buried on this island" - and that that was meant to be a hint that Nikki and Paulo, too, would become "unburied." I, however, think that Locke's statement was meant to be ironic specifically because of the way that Nikki and Paulo met their untimely fate.

If you can't tell, my vote is: They're dead. No question.



AND ONE DAY, DOGS SHALL RULE THE WORLD!

What can I say?  I tried.Anyone who owns a dog already knows this: dogs are smarter than humans.

Vincent KNEW that Nikki and Paulo weren't dead... that's why he pulled the Death Blanket off of them!








PODCAST DEBRIEF

I listened to the official ABC podcast this week and have paraphrased what was covered...

I kinda regret throwin' those diamonds in now...- The idea for Nikki and Paulo came up at the end of Season 1. But they felt that it wasn't right to introduce them until this year.
- "The fans kept asking about the background people, and then we gave them the background people, and then everyone's like "Who the hell are these people?" However, they feel like the pay-off was worth it.
- It was Damon Lindelof's idea to bury them alive.
- They liked getting to see all the "iconic moments from Season 1" seen from the perspective of "somebody you didn't realize was there."
- "There was no other way for them to learn their lesson."

They definitely talked like Nikki and Paulo ARE DEAD.


Fan Questions and Answers:

- Q. How long does it take to film one episode? A. "It's about a 5-week process, 10 of those days are actual filming."

- Q. Can you confirm or deny that the falling man in Hurley's flashback is not Locke? A. They confirmed that the falling man IS NOT LOCKE, "while a good idea, the timeline didn't work. It was another unfortunate soul. We do a lot of father issues, and a lot of people falling from buildings."

Q. Where is everyone? Where are Rose and Bernard? Is this supposed to be a clue - like they're not in the island at the same time? A. You have to think of the island like everyone's off having a life. We WILL be seeing Rose and Bernard again this year. And it won't just be background, it will be awesome. When we have them on the show, we want to have them on the show with something to do, not just walking around in the background.

Q. How do you come up with characters' names? A. When it's not a philosopher's name... "There's a legal department that has to clear all names we make up to ensure there's not a lot of people with that name since it could be viewed as disparaging."

Q. "Are they going to celebrate Christmas on the island?" A. Uh... you're talking to two Hanukkah celebrators... Um, actually, currently, Santa Claus is one of the "rescue options" we are reviewing. That, or the Lostaways wait until someone wants to build a Starbucks on the island. Actually, the IRS finds Hurley on the island for back-taxes owed from his Lottery winnings. That's the series' finale, that's how it ends, that's how they get rescued.

Q. When will be see Papa Locke again? A. You will have to wait until the end of April/beginning of May to get back to Papa Locke.



WISE WORDS FROM THE BOARDS

- Well, that was a thoroughly disturbing ending. Thanks, show. Now I won't be able to sleep.
- I was totally bracing myself to see Nikki start screaming and flailing when she woke up. It's a zillion times more freaky that she didn't. Holy crap!
- SO GRUESOME! Loved it!
- Nikki and Paulo served their purposes: 1) to fill out the cast of island survivors and remind us that their lives are just as complex as those of the main characters and 2) to take us through the history of the show by another course, tying some loose ends along the way. This show has always resisted the idea of "heroes," the kinds of people who are in some way better than the rest of us; this show is about everyday people trying to get by, and the stories of the survivors we know are not inherently more meaningful than those of the survivors we don't.
- I don't understand why Lost is the only show on television where viewers demand major pieces of mythology every episode. Most episodes of The X-Files contained no mythology, and that show still ended up being too convoluted. Please accept that this show is, in the end, about people, and take the tidbits of the big picture as they come.
- On another note, if one watches LOST purely to see reveals, Exposé may not have been a terribly interesting episode. On the other hand, if one equates viewing LOST to reading a full-length novel, these peripheral stories, with no substantial arc, are part of the entertainment of watching the show.
- That episode was like one of Edgar Allen Poe's short stories, one of those horror stories with a moral to it... had very little to do with Lost in general, but I agree, it was entertaining.
- Anyhow, I thought this episode was a brilliant bit of fluff. I LOVED that the writers had the balls to bury N and P alive! I'm thinking that they had this tragic end for them in mind all along:
Writer 1: "Let's introduce two really annoying characters, really arbitrarily."
Writer 2: "Yeah -- then the audience will get really pissed off. The water cooler talk will be great!"
Writer 1: "And then we kill them off, mercilessly!"
Writer 2: "Yes! And the audience will love us even more than before!"
[EVIL LAUGHTER CASCADES THROUGH THE WRITING ROOM...]
- I'd take this episode over another "omg, Sawyer isn't very nice" flashback any day. It was campy and fun and really good television.
- Is Hurley the official Island eulogizer?
- I hope that they keep Paulo dead - he is the worst actor ever (actually, that is Keanu Reeves, but I digress).
Do-do-do-do Do-do-do-do- The only thing this episode lacked was an epilogue delivered by Rod Serling.
- "What exactly is a perimeter sweep?" - was that a 24 reference??
- There is NO WAY TPTB would allow them to escape being buried alive...although I also thought Krychek was permanently sealed in with the spaceship on "The X Files" but he wasn't...and I guess I thought Luke Perry's character on "Oz" was walled up in the dining hall for eternity but he wasn't. Nevertheless, I still hold out hope that this burial-alive will stick.
- I also liked that they (FINALLY!) acknowledged that at least one holiday has passed them by--based on the timeline, it looks as if we might be gearing up for "A Very Lost Christmas" in the next few weeks (featuring Sawyer as "Scrooge," Locke as "The Ghost of Christmas Past," Hurley as "The Ghost of Christmas Present," and Ben as "The Ghost of Christmas Future"...plus special guests: Michael as "Bob Cratchit" and Walt as "Tiny Tim").
- One more thing...was that Lando on Lost?? Is the final rescue for our survivors coming from the Millenium Falcon??

I really don't know how to steer this thing, where's Han?


BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE


Nikki: Razzle Dazzle!
[Nikki then kicks the gun from his hand and karate punches him across the face]
Nikki: Hiyah!



Hurley: Dude...Nikki's dead.
Sawyer: Who the hell's Nikki?



Howard: He just came to Sydney. Heard I was hiring and showed up at my office every day until I gave him the job. Apparently back home, he is the Wolfgang Puck of Brazil.
Nikki: Wow.



[She hands the cigarette back and opens the safe revealing a matryoshka doll which she opens the contents and sees, but we do not]
Nikki: Razzle freaking dazzle.



Charlie: She's got gunk under her fingernails. [To Sawyer] Where'd you find her?
Sawyer: Right here. She stumbled out of the jungle...face planted...said something like "plywood"...and...and sayonara.
Hurley: Actually, I think she said "power lines."



Hurley: [Interrupting] Paulo lies! That's what she said, Paulo lies, not power lines, Paulo lies.
Sawyer: Who the hell's Paulo?



Hurley: That's evidence. You're messing up the crime scene.
Sawyer: Crime scene? There a forensics hatch I don't know about?




ARTICLES GALORE


The weekly EW write-up


An interview with director Jack Bender


A interview with Benry (Michael Emerson) in TV Guide




UPCOMING EPISODES

4/4 - Left Behind - In what looks like a cat-fight extraordinaire from the previews, Kate and Juliet face off in the jungle. The U.S. trailer.
4/11 - One of Us
4/18 - Catch-22
4/25 - D.O.C.
5/2 - The Brig (recently named)
5/9 - The Man Behind the Curtain (recently named)
5/16 - Greatest Hits (previously called 'The Truth About Lying')
5/23 - TWO-HOUR SEASON FINALE and special episode afterward

There you have it. Here's to Juliet getting a smack-down in the jungle this week!

Until next time,
- e

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is still the BEST Lost Blog around, anywhere!

wanders said...

Thanks, e, for another awesome report on what was a very fluffy and entertaining episode.

Anonymous said...

You are ze best E!

Julie G said...

I think I speak for all of us "Long Live Locke-ers" when I say I look SO forward to reading this blog each week! I keep checking to see when the latest post is up and this week it was a little early (a nice surprise!) You really should get PAID for doing this (but don't charge us!) :-) Thanks for the write-ups and thanks to Tracy V for turning me on to this blog!

Glen said...

I live in Liverpool UK and we get Lost 4 days after you and I always read your Blog before the episode is on (it makes me look very clever pointing out all the stuff to family/friends) I agree you should be paid. Awsome Blog well done.

GARRY UK said...

And now we know one of the Spiders is MIB........how weird.

Does that mean he would have had to take the shape of a dead spider and have all its memories and experiences to draw on?

I wonder why the MIB took exception to Nikki and Paulo? Maybe it was becasue they weren't candidates.