Thursday, December 31, 2009

Spend Your Holiday Cash on a New LOST Book (or Win a Copy, If You're Lucky)


Hello my dear friends -

First and foremost, Happy Last Day of 2009. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm ready to move on to 2010 already.

The reason I'm posting this fine afternoon is because I wanted to tell you about something that will not only help you pass the time between now and the LOST season premiere on February 2, but also thoroughly prepare you for The Final Season -- even if you've been participating in a LOST Rewatch. It's a book by my extra-awesome friend and fellow LOST blogger and DarkUFO recapper Vozzek. Vozzek is one of the few LOST bloggers that I've actually had the pleasure of talking to (yes kids, ON THE PHONE) and he is truly a great guy. I certainly wouldn't have survived some of the ups and downs of this year without him.

So here's the deal -- he has a book of completely new (and spoiler-free, of course) material and it was published last week: Things You Never Noticed About LOST: Past Perceptions and Future Theories. I just returned home from my holiday travel yesterday, found my copy waiting for me and let me tell ya, it's GOOD.

Vozzek spent the hiatus watching Seasons One through Five again and forming several overarching theories about what could be going on with our dear Oceanic 815 survivors. He's got over 244 pages of ideas that will make you pause and say to yourself, "Wow, I never thought about it that way." In the short time I've had the book in my possession, there have already been three things I read that have made me want to pop in certain episodes and see some of the curious things that Vozzek's pointed out for myself.

Things You Never Noticed About LOST is $11.95 plus shipping (and yes, he ships internationally). If you order it here from his site, there's a box you can check during the purchase process if you want him to sign it, and he'll inscribe it with whatever you'd like as well. Or you can order it from Amazon (but the inscription/autograph option isn't available there).

OR you can win one of three copies I'm giving away. He'll write a note and sign the book for all three winners, and the contest is open to anyone, anywhere. All you have to do is tell me something tongue-in-cheek that YOU'VE noticed about LOST over the past five seasons. You know, like "I've noticed Sawyer tends to be shirtless an awful lot." I'll pick my favorite three and announce the winners -- or maybe I'll let Vozzek pick his faves? -- on Monday, January 4, so get your submissions in (to this blog... nothing sent via Facebook or Twitter will be considered) by 9 AM Central Time that day, please. And just one entry per person. I won't publish anything rude or offensive, either, as I'm sure you all know.

Eminent LOST theorist Doc Jensen of Entertainment Weekly featured Vozzek as a "super-fan" recently; the interview starts about halfway down the page here. I highly recommend checking it out to learn more about Vozzek and his book... but of course I had to ask him a few questions of my own, so here they are:

e: First off, congratulations on publishing the book -- I know it was no small undertaking. What made you decide to write it?

V: People who've read my recaps have been asking me to put them in some kind of book format for a while now. I never wanted to do that - it seemed a little cheesy (okay, a lot cheesy). Still, the thought of writing a book about the intricacies of LOST was pretty attractive to me. You can read a lot of books about what happened during the last five years of LOST, but not a whole lot of them explore why it happened. That's my favorite part.

e: What was the hardest part about writing it?

V: Believe it or not, rewatching the show. Having seen through the end of season five, any viewer doing a rewatch is a lot more educated. There are so many new things to notice... so much important stuff happens, it's hard to pick and choose what you want to talk about and what you need to leave out. And with all the repeating themes, scenes, and dialogue? It's just a lot of research. I could be writing about a scene that happens in season four, but also need to make references to near identical scenes in seasons one and two. Breaking the book down to individual chapters helped a lot when it came to keeping focus.

e: Did any of the theories you’ve had significantly alter once you rewatched the last five seasons?

V: The way I perceived John Locke changed an awful lot. Once you know he ends up being "occupied" by the man in the black shirt, you start to wonder how far back that control goes. Even as early as the first four or five episodes, you start getting the impression that John was being used as a vessel (for lack of a better term). But at the same time, he was still Locke, too. I also started exploring the signs that Locke was manipulated by more than one opposing force.

Jack's character also becomes a lot more interesting during the rewatch. From the moment the plane crashes to the very first decision Jack makes (choosing the color of thread Kate sews him up with), there's evidence that Jack is very different from the rest of the Flight 815 survivors. Stranger in a Strange Land doesn't just refer to Jack's vacation to Thailand. Isabel's words to him are a lot more important when you start thinking that way.

e: Yeah, you know, the only season I watched again was Season One, and I was really struck by how much crap Jack had to deal with -- it was RIDICULOUS how much everyone relied on him for absolutely everything. I think many people have forgotten about that over the years. But now we've come to the LAST season for the show. How do you feel about the series coming to an end this year?

V: Excited, but of course sad. Like everyone else I can't wait to see how the show ends, but I'm going to miss watching new episodes. I keep consoling myself with the fact that the show's fanbase is way too enormous to just go away once the final credits roll. No matter what, we're going to have 120+ amazing episodes of LOST. There will always be boards, forums, and people who want to discuss ideas, concepts, and theories. I have a feeling we'll get some overall answers to the bigger questions by the time the show ends, but the writers will still leave a lot of things open to interpretation.

e: OK, one last question, but it's a biggie: How do you think the show will end?

V: With the LOST logo. ;)

e: D'oh! You're totally right -- you heard it here first, folks!

OK everybody, get your Things I Noticed contest entries in by Monday, have a happy and safe New Year's celebration, and come back next week to see who the lucky three winners are. Or if you can't wait until then, just go ahead and buy Vozzek's book right now -- I promise you, you'll love it.

Oh, one more thing: I will still be running a January contest on the site (and a bonus Twitter-based contest as well -- so follow me, won't you?) and it will probably commence next week, so stay tuned.

Until then,
- e


Monday, December 07, 2009

Give It Up for the December Contest Winner

Hello my dear friends -

First and foremost, thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for the limited edition Dharma Initiative Orientation Kit. I absolutely loved reading why you thought Dharma should come to your hometowns. But all you want to know about right now is WHO WON, right?

What I did to pick the winner was assign a number to every entry (per the order in which they were received). Then I found a web site that generates random numbers, entered in the appropriate range and waited to see what the Internet pixies came back with. The number returned was 69 (if you click on the picture below you'll be able to see the page more clearly), and so the winner is... ERNIE.

Ernie said that Dharma would love Baton Rouge because they could use the underground tunnels at Louisiana State University, would feel comfortable around the "out-there, hippie researchers on campus (similar to the DeGroots)," and could make Mike the Bengal tiger their new mascot. I think you've convinced them, Ernie.

I have to admit I was really pleased that a longtime fan of my sites won this awesome DVD set. How's that for good karma? Ernie's been one of my most faithful commenters over the years, and in the summer of 2007 he started a blog of his own, Gulf Coast Offense. It's a sports-focused site on which he also shares his Lost thoughts every once in awhile, so be sure to check it out. Congrats, Ernie!

And I truly thank everyone who gave this contest a shot and submitted a creative entry. If you have a few spare minutes, I highly encourage you to check out the thoughtful and often hilarious responses to the question, "Why should Dharma set up a station in your city?" I also thank the fine folks at Buena Vista Home Entertainment, who made this giveaway possible -- they rock, no?

Remember that if you really have your heart set on the special Dharma version of the Season Five DVDs, you can order one here while supplies last. The regular set of DVDs can be found here. They hit shelves tomorrow!

In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at a few particularly cool extras that are part of the bonus features.

This one is a deleted scene from "Namaste," and it brings to mind the debate that episode inspired among viewers at the time it aired: did the gang stuck back in the '70s do something to change the future? Because these barracks that Frank and Sun were at with Christian looked totally different than we'd ever seen them. This clip shows even more evidence of something fishy going on, with all the boarded-up doors and windows and whatnot. Of course we now have the benefit of having seen the rest of Season Five and knowing that the time-traveling Losties very well might have changed things when Jughead was detonated, which would explain the drastically different appearance of Dharma's Island headquarters.

Courtesy of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. ©ABC Studios.

Building on that, here are Executive Producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (and Jorge Garcia (Hurley) and Jeremy Davies (Faraday)) discussing the possibility of Jughead giving our Lostaways a "do-over."

Courtesy of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. ©ABC Studios.

Sounds like the perfect set-up for Season Six, huh?

Speaking of Season Six, it's barreling toward us now, and I have yet to post my thoughts on what went down at Comic-Con this summer. I haven't even shared pictures of Zap2Locke Con or my recent venture into Lost ARG territory. I truly hope I'll get to these things ahead of February 2, but it's doubtful I can crank out any more posts before 2009 draws to a close. So check back in January for the next Long Live Locke contest and perhaps a few show/theory-based posts for the first time in a long time.

Finally, as a reminder, in addition to the January contest I'll run here on the blog, I will hold a Twitter-based contest as well, probably starting shortly after the calendar rolls over to 2010 (is it just me, or does that just sound so... futuristic? 2010!?!). Therefore, if you're on Twitter, be sure you're following me at

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season and I will "see" you all in the new year. At that point we'll have only one more month until Season Six begins. Can you believe it?

- e

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The December Contest: Dharma Comes to Town

UPDATE: It's 10:34 PM CST on 12/6 and this contest is now closed. I'll post the winner at some point tomorrow.

Hello my dear friends -

Some of you who've been reading my blogs for a while might remember my dreadful experience with the Great Condo Flood of '07 (during Lost's hiatus, thankfully), as well as another invasion of sewer water I had this past spring, a mere two hours before "Follow the Leader." That incident was such a mess that I was forced to have to cancel my Season Five finale party a full week later. Can somebody say "bitter"?

Now that Season Six is only two months away, I've decided that I have to protect my Lost viewing experience by any means necessary -- I can't chance having it ruined again by Mother Nature. (Because as Ben might say, Mother Nature, like Destiny, is a fickle bitch). Therefore, I currently have contractors at my place, digging up my front yard (if you can call it that, it's like a three-by-nine patch of grass) and installing an injector pump that will hopefully keep my downstairs dry every time the torrential rains hit Chicago from here on out.

Why am I telling you this? Because 1) I thought you cared about me, dammit! and 2) The pump project is the reason I'm late in posting the December contest today -- the workers had to cut the electricity to my DSL router for several hours. My yard's still in ruins but my connection is back, so here we go:

Up for grabs this time is what might be the coolest thing I'll ever give away: A limited edition Season Five Dharma Initiative Orientation Kit. Check it out:

This is not your normal Season Five DVD set. The regular set can be found here... whereas the Dharma version is being offered in extremely limited quantities and features unique packaging -- complete with old-school floppy disk holders for the DVDs and an honest-to-goodness Dharma Orientation VHS tape.

The DVDs are Region 1 format, so unfortunately this contest is only open to those in the U.S. or Canada (or those in other areas who happen to have an R1-compatible player).

Here's what you have to do to have a shot at winning the kit: Tell me why Dharma should set up a station in your hometown. If I were entering, I'd say something like, "The Dharma Initiative would love the polar bear at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo and the sharks at Shedd Aquarium, and would have a ball running psychological experiments on Cubs fans, as they clearly have a higher tolerance for pain and disappointment than most other human beings."

I'll hold a random drawing for the winner, so no need to kill yourself over a crazy-creative reply, but in order to be eligible you definitely do need to write something about why Dharma would like your 'hood.

One entry per person, and remember, only those in the States and Canada this time around.

I'll close the contest around 10 PM Central Time Sunday, December 6 and will announce the winner Monday, December 7. Both the normal and limited edition Lost Season Five DVD sets will be available for purchase on December 8.

Best of luck!

- e

PS - In addition to the January contest I'll hold here on the blog, there will be a bonus Twitter-based contest, so if you're interested, you can follow me at

UPDATE: It's 10:34 PM CST on 12/6 and this contest is now closed. I'll post the winner at some point tomorrow.