Guest Blogger Lost Forum: “Recon”

The question every “Lost” fan wants answered: How many STDs does this guy have?

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To the uninitiated, all “Lost” fans may look alike: Geeky, giddy fan boys (and girls) who obsess over numbers, mythology, literary references, time travel and parallel universes. Actually, there is a lot of diversity in our ranks. Some see in the show’s make-up overarching spiritual themes of death, redemption and resurrection; others just think it’s a great soap opera. Some see riddle upon riddle meant to stay unresolved; others want answers (or else!).

What we share in common is the belief that if “Lost” isn’t the best thing on television right now, it’s pretty darn close, and when it all ends we’ll be left with a little void inside that network television is unlikely to replace anytime soon, if ever.

In the spirit of bringing many viewpoints to the table, we hereby present four different takes on last night’s episode. These are guest bloggers of the highest caliber, known to Voreblog readers for their witty, astute commentary. They are Tad Smith, a left-handed Doc Jensen; Mike Allen, a wild card in every sense imaginable; Erik Brueggemann, the “Lost” agnostic; and Scott Guldin, devoted father, Bulls fan, and general Zen master of all things pop culture.

We have included their pictures so you can appreciate just how good-looking a guest blogging panel this is.

Enjoy.

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TAD “I AM SECRETLY DOC JENSEN” SMITH

First of all, I guess I should state that I am now firmly in the camp that does not need every mythological question answered. Admittedly, my stance has changed, as I used to be one who loved speculating on the meaning of a painting in a room or where the food drop came from or who the Degroots where. But now, I’m really just excited about seeing how this story will end, and what will happen to all these characters we have now followed for six years. I think part of this can be attributed to some fantastic acting by the likes of Michael Emerson, Terry O’Quinn and Henry Ian Cusick. I also think the way of storytelling this year, which I’ve found to be quite nostalgic (trips to the polar bear cages, trips to the caves, Adam and Eve skeletons, etc.), has achieved the task of balancing moving the story forward as well as looking back at all the places we’ve been. So last night, for not the first time this season, I found myself enjoying the show once again for the big picture, confusing as that picture may still be……

I gave last night’s episode, “Recon,” a solid B. And instead of rehashing everything that happened last night, I’ll just throw out the random thoughts I had whilst watching one more hour disappear before the series finale.

In no particular order……..and with lots of parentheses……

  • Michael Landon got more screen time than Jin. “Lost” has easter-egged its way throughout 5.5 seasons now, whether it’s quick glances of books (Watership Down last night) or the infamous Hoffs-Drawlar (flash forward) funeral home. That’s why I was struck with how long they stayed focused on Charles Ingalls waxing poetically about life and death last night. It worked as a motivator for James to get up off the couch in the episode, but I wonder if there was anything bigger picture there. Probably not.
  • I found last night to be confusing, but in a good way. Lots of cons, lots of lies, lots of truths.
  • Doc Jensen has touched on the recurring theme of mirrors in the sideways world in this season’s recaps. Character reflection, mirrors to another world, so on and so forth. There have been some pretty obvious occurences (Jack on the plane, Jack at the lighthouse, Locke in his bathroom), but I thought he was stretching on some others (Sayid’s reflection in Nadia’s door, Ben’s reflection in his microwave).  I think I’m on board after seeing Sawyer break the mirror this week, distorting the scowling face staring back at him.
  • Who’s in the dead-bolted room in Charles Widmore’s sub? I’m thinking (as much as Erin may be hoping) that it might be a drugged Desmond Hume.  [Editor’s note: And yes how Erin is hoping.]
  • I got a bit nervous when MIB sent Sawyer to the Hydra station to look for other survivors of the Ajira flight. I was praying that we weren’t going to be introduced to more new characters at this point in the show. And with the introduction of Zoe, I flinched a bit more (was she the same woman that Ford was with in the first scene, except without glasses?  I couldn’t tell). Luckily, it appears that Zoe is just part of Widmore’s sub crew, and may not have a bigger role than I at first thought she may.
  • Charlotte is hot. [Editor’s note: And how! This came out of nowhere. Nothing she did in season 5 prepared us for last night.]
  • Last night also further confirmed to me that Jacob vs. MIB does not necessarily equal Good vs. Evil. Perhaps it was simply the MIB further manipulating Kate with his quick glimpse into his life (my “mom” was crazy, and I had some “growing pains”), but I think that there are obviously some more complexities to Jacob and MIB’s relationship. I don’t want to necessarily jump on the Cain and Abel bandwagon, but I think they may potentially be brothers or at one point were friends. This leads me to my next question…..
  • Whose side is Widmore on?  Or are there three sides?  Or will Jacob and the MIB join forces to defeat Widmore?
  • Claire is still batshit crazy.
  • I miss Karl.

What’s the one question I still want answered? What are “the whispers”?  I won’t even pretend to have an answer, nor do I know if it even has any bearing on anything. I’ve always thought they were kinda creepy, quite mysterious, and really cool. Maybe Richard Alpert will fill us in this week in what looks to be a promising episode.

If I could write the ending to “Lost”: I’m not even gonna touch this one. Frankly, I’ve never even thought about this. I do think that this show could really end up being something special (as if it isn’t already). Between “Jersey Shore” and “The Jay Leno Show,” there’s hasn’t been a lot of great television on in many years. This show has been groundbreaking in its storytelling devices and character development. I have no doubt in my mind that people are gonna be pissed about how this show will end. I won’t be one of them. In fact, I’m cautiously optimistic that by the time May 23rd rolls around, that we’ll all be thoroughly satisfied and amazed at what this show has accomplished. It truly has the opportunity to be special, something that we look at years from now with the same amount of appreciation that most of us do now.

As long as Karl comes back.

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MIKE “GET THAT SALAD AWAY FROM ME” ALLEN

Let me just get it out of the way and say that next week looks to be amazing. My bold statement: “Ab Aeterno” will challenge “The Constant” as Best. Episode. Ever. Now on to “Recon.”

I bet I’m with the consensus on this episode, in that I thought it was good but not great. I’ve always been a big Sawyer fan. I felt like this had some really good stuff. The sideways story, especially the beginning, was great (I cannot wait for the Sawyer/Miles buddy cop drama). I think new Locke is a fantastic character especially when he called Claire out for being batshit crazy. I think it was easy to see the whole thing coming with Zoe though. I also just don’t care to ever really see Kate in any scenes ever again. She just annoys me now.

I planned to watch the episode around 10 last night on the ABC website. It turns out they don’t post those until sometime after 1 a.m. I did manage to spend about three hours last night watching bits of old episodes and reading Top 10 Episodes lists. I forgot how much I enjoyed “The Long Con” and “The 23rd Psalm” episode where Mr. Eko was judged. Which made me think back to some smoke monster activity: judging Mr Eko, trying to get Locke down the hole, Locke calling it “beautiful.” It’s interesting how many times we’ve actually seen this guy. I think there’s a lot there, like Locke drawing a picture of him before Richard visits him when he was a kid? That’s just weird.

All in all, a good not great episode. It did really get me thinking (obsessing?) about this stuff again and that’s something that none of the previous episodes this season had done.

[Editor’s Note: Mike will be taking the next two days off from work, so do not call him unless you want to discuss NCAA basketball.]

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ERIK “‘LOST’ IS NO ‘BATTLESTAR GALACTICA'” BRUEGGEMANN

I give last night’s episode a B. There has been only one other episode this season that wouldn’t get an F (the Sayid episode which is also a B episode). I never realized how smokin’ Charlotte was. This episode reminded me that I missed Sawyer – and this is the second non-crash alternate story that was believable (or, for that matter, even remotely interesting). Claire is still terrible as ‘Rousseau.’ My theory that no one is doing what you think they are — or on the side you think — was mainly confirmed last night from Sawyer, Sayid, “Locke,” and Widmore. Sawyer as McNulty was outstanding.

What’s the one question I want answered? How about, What the hell is Chip doing with a gun? Didn’t Jennie confront him about his violent tendencies in the episode “The Reporter” from Season 7 after Chip ate Kate and Allie and thereafter Chip began his path of nonviolence, although we can’t forget he did slip in the episode “Jack of Hearts” also from Season 7 when he ate Jennie while turning into Tetsuo.

Although since he was absorbing anything in his path Jennie should have gotten the hell out of the way.

If I could write the ending, there would be no ending. The story they were telling (until this season) has no ending – it would be 100% open ended like the best things about this show are. I’d rather not have them explain things – which is why I’m worried about next week’s episode (Richard is better as an enigma).

[MIKE, feeling baited, proceeds to have a “candid” dialogue with ERIK about the so-called virtues of vegetarianism.]

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SCOTT “NOT TO GET TOO ARISTOTELIAN UP IN HERE” GULDIN

Though “Lost” has an overripe reputation for its mystique and ambiguity, it sure can be ham-handed with its motifs. So far this season we have been reminded that SAYID IS A KILLER, BEN LUSTS FOR POWER, JACK HAS DADDY ISSUES, and KATE SUCKS. Here, once more, we reviewed Sawyer’s raison d’être: to lie, sulk, be alone, show us his formidable mid-section, and seduce the ladies (but broodingly and with an air of resigned inevitability).

Charlotte and Sawyer’s verbal foreplay forever ruined two things for me: Indiana Jones movies and sex. I’m sorry, but C.S. Lewis is a portly older British gentleman who pedantically defends Christian ideology, not a lithe redhead up for hot booty after a 20 minute dinner date. I blame the writers’ too-cute conventions for naming their characters for associating one with the other, burning that detestable image into my brain forever. I vomited when I saw that and have not stopped vomiting since.

While we’re here, can we discuss a practical issue? (Always dangerous with “Lost,” but still.) Sawyer’s gotta be swimming with STDs, right? Can we name the virulent strain of Island syphilis that he carries “LaFleur”? So far he’s done the nasty with: Ana Lucia, Kate, Juliet, and now, C.S. Lewis, not to mention countless others besides, from his days of conning and cuddling. I know he’s pretty and stubbly, but is it worth the risk, ladies? That rash is forever.

I did not read any recaps before writing this, so I don’t know the definitive answer to whether or not I should have recognized the bespectacled brunette on the smaller island. She sure LOOKED familiar, though. And what do I know? I’ve only seen every single episode and read multiple recaps of every show from the third season on. (Oh, “Lost.”)

Good episode. Not great. Solid B. I will leave the deeper matters of the Widmore/Locke and Kate/Claire showdowns to my fellow recappers [Editor’s Note: Or commenters!], who I assume will have dug a little deeper than Mr. Ford’s bedroom proclivities.

I don’t have any one question I want answered by season’s end. Unlike the Voreblogs, I have cable and watch TV in real time, instead of cherry picking only good shows on DVD. This approach makes sense and probably saves the Voreblogs a lot of time and money, but it also creates the ridiculous echo chamber that would cause them to pine for the cancellation — years ago — of “The Office,” and to declare that the second season of “Flight of the Conchords” was among the worst fare television had to offer last year. For shame. Only when you waste your life by watching crapfests like “Heroes,” seasons four through eight of “24,” “Celebrity Apprentice,” “Dirty Sexy Money,” “Ugly Betty,” and the latest season of “Scrubs,” can you truly appreciate good television shows like “Lost.” It has definite and widely-discussed weaknesses, to be sure. But I will certainly miss it when it goes dark for good. I only hope it does right by its major characters.

My biggest fear is that the end of “Lost” will rely on some deus ex machina hokum. Rumors to that effect have swirled around the show since the beginning (the Island is purgatory, or the entire show is the dream of Bob Newhart), but the show is actually constructed in a way that makes such an ending eerily possible. For all the discussion of Jacob, The Man in Black, and even Widmore, those three have been afforded less screen time than Leslie Arzt, which is wrong for so many reasons. Not to get too Aristotelian up in here, but for the conflict and resolution to mean anything, we must see them unfold, not just hear repeated vague references to them (even if those references have been sustained for all six seasons). I hope the third-to-last and penultimate episodes establish a feeling of loss and foreboding, and that the final two hours show us Jack and Kate making love on a polar bear, Claire and Charlie watching Aaron play in a ball pit at Mr. Cluck’s, Sun and Jin teaching their children Korenglish, and Sawyer, Locke, Ben, Sayid and Shannon cleaning french bread out of Hitler’s mustache in hell. And one last “Waaaaaalllllt” wouldn’t kill anyone.

11 Comments

Filed under friends, guest bloggers, Lost, television

11 responses to “Guest Blogger Lost Forum: “Recon”

  1. Ben

    Thank you, guest bloggers, for your piercing commentary!

    Interesting that even with four different takes, everyone basically agreed it was a B episode.

    I’ve found nothing today that says Zoe is a character we’ve met before and/or should have known about. In keeping with last night’s Indiana Jones references (sorry, Scott), I thought she strongly resembled a young Karen Allen.

    Tad’s remark about the lack of Desmond this season made me realize the number one reason why Erin’s enthusiasm for “Lost” has been flagging.

    Scott, thank you for “cleaning french bread out of Hitler’s mustache in hell.”

    Erik is a handier man than I will ever be and intimidates me with his handmandiness. That said, his dogs have bad manners. I think he also intentionally exposed me to asbestos.

    Finally, I should commend Mike Allen for having the good sense and impeccable taste to get married on August 14. Well played, sir.

  2. Tad

    I’m dumbfounded and giddy that you posted a picture of the j’s for my section. Well done sir. Charlotte is still hot.

  3. Erik B

    I think we should do this again next week – I’m guessing that episode is going to be more decisive since they are probably going to explain some shit that will either make us happy or groan. We all agreed too much on this one.

    Lost may be the best show on TV that is currently airing – but I just started Mad Men Season 3 last night – I forgot how outstanding that show is. Once Treme starts and I find someone with HBO I’m guessing I will completely forget about Lost.

    Why was Battlestar such a good show? I don’t know but watching the below link gave me goose bumps…the writers of BSG knew how to tell a story that is more mysterious than Lost and nailed it every time.

  4. sister ellen

    Zoe looks familiar, because the actress that plays her also played Valerie Highsmith of Pure Luck. Come on… Martin Short… Danny Glover… remember now? You’re welcome.

  5. voreblog

    Of course. Thank you, Ellen.

  6. Matt

    I am going to take exception with a couple of the guest bloggers thoughts:

    1. Charlotte is in fact not hot. At best she is attractive at worst she is a nasty ginger kid.

    2. Kate is hot and therefore deserves some sort of role in this show. I know it’s simple minded but it’s a fact.

    3. Why would you not want questions answered? Who wants to wonder about something for the rest of their life?

    4. Placing this season of Scrubs in with shows such as “Celebrity Apprentice” and “Dirty Sexy Money” is totally out of line. It might not be the Scrubs we have all come to know and love but it has not fallen that far.

    Thank you.

  7. Erik B

    1) and 2). Charlotte is the ridiculously gorgeous – Kate is like Kiera Knightley – Einhorn is Finkle anyone? anyone at all? What I’m trying to get at is they look like men. Men with boobs. Not obese men with boobs – like transvestites that did a really good job.

    3). If you think I will waste any brain power on Lost once the show is complete you are shit out of luck. I like things up in the air – like science. None of that shit is answerable and I don’t think about it at all……ever.

    4.) Scrubs has fallen into the CW territory.

  8. Ben

    This is what I was hoping for more of in the guest posts: disagreement. Didn’t shake out that way, but this is good. And of course I’m always glad when the conversation goes in a transvestites-and-Scrubs-on-CW direction. Good times.

  9. Matthew Leathers

    This latest season of Scrubs is indeed awful. None of the new characters are even remotely likable, or even interesting, and James Franco’s little brother is doing a terrible impression of Aziz Ansari’s character from last season. That kid needs a wicked beatin’.

    Also, I’m 5 seasons behind on Lost. Could you guys stop doing this until I catch up? OK THANKS!

  10. Matt

    I totally disagree that there is no one character to like from this season of Scrubs… Dr. Mahoney (aka Jo) is pretty damn funny. I know my opinion is likely to be deemed irrelevant due to my music choices but I find her to be well worth my time. This season is not up to Scrubs standards but it is still a mildly entertaining show that does not deserve to be lumped in with Donald Trump based reality TV.

    As for Kate vs. Charlotte I believe this is like comparing the Colts (Kate) to the Browns (Charlotte). Kate is always hot. She can be covered in dirt, dressed in a sun dress in a cage, or running from the cops and she’s hot. Her hotness is always present much like the Colts consistent play. Charlotte had one semi-attractive episode but is otherwise unremarkable like the Browns one solid season in the last decade.

  11. Scott G.

    I said that this year’s “Scrubs” was a crapfest, and I stick by that. I like Jo and Drew, but Cole and Lucy are so awful that it brings a sadness to the proceedings that not even Cox and Kelso can overcome. If nothing else, this season proves that Judy Reyes was more valuable to the franchise than we expected, probably.

    I also thought of a Lost question I want answered: What the butt is up with Christian Shephard? Is he good? Was he bad when he was sequestered in the cabin, and did his badness rub off on Claire? Is he only good when he wears his Old Man white sneakers?

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