Sorry for the blogging drought – the last week has been very engaging in Chicago.
Two weeks ago, “Dead Is Dead” was a huge landmark in Lost‘s mythological meta-narrative (as every Ben-centered episode tends to be). Not much actually happened in the present, but Ben’s origin-story flashbacks filled in some interesting gaps (with varying success), and we did get to see Smokey for the first time this season.
In the flashbacks, I found the scene where Ben kidnaps Alex from a beautiful young Danielle Rousseau very underwhelming. In Lost‘s character mythology, this event was one of the most game-changing: I expected something revelatory. Instead, we got a predictable, run-of-the-mill kidnapping scene that didn’t surprise anyone. For me, Lost works best when it hints at the Island’s history; when the writer’s show us a pivotal event first-hand, it often feels anticlimactic (like when Rousseau’s team crashed, Montand lost his arm, etc.).
But we did get more background on the antagonism between Ben and Widmore, in a nice scene where an adolescent Ben refuses to follow Charles’ commands (while Richard Alpert looks on). My only complaint here: those hairpieces. Ben and Widmore’s both.
The real climax of “Dead Is Dead” was, of course, Ben’s confrontation with the Smoke Monster. Not in the Temple itself, but in dusty antechamber beneath the Temple wall. We’ve seen Egyptian hieroglyphs all over the Island, but now we’ve seen a bona-fide god: Anubis, Lord of the Afterlife, Protector of the Dead, and Guide to the Underworld. I’m pretty sure he’s the mystery statue too. Are there any Smoke Monster parallels in Egyptian Mythology. Yes.
The implications are limitless. How do we account for Egyptian artifacts on the Island? Did the Island’s original inhabitants leave millennia ago and found the Egyptian civilization? After all, turning the Wheel dumps you out in nearby Tunisia. When combined with the Cambodian architecture of the Temple wall (see Angkor Wat), the Island could have once been the proto-civilization of Atlantis, Mu, or Lemuria.
I loved Ben’s secret room (what’s with the pool of water?!), the Temple chamber, and the grate/vent thing that the Monster poured out of. I wasn’t crazy about Ben’s flashbacks appearing in the Smoke so clearly. It worked much better with Eko in Season 2 when the visual effects stuck with sublimal images. But it was great when Smokey manifested itself as a fiesty Alex!
And now on to “Some Like It Hoth,” a different kind of episode for this season. Leisurely-paced and fun, it reminded me of more straightforward Season 1 flashbacks, and that was okay. I’ve always been fascinated by Miles and his gift.
Thankfully, the writers put “ghost theories” to rest, as Miles explains that he doesn’t speak with dead people, he only accesses the pre-death memories stored in their brains. Though this explanation doesn’t quite fit for his door-to-door seances in Season 4.
Miles and Hurley’s banter continues to be fun. Miles is the new Charlie, in that respect, and he’s a major improvement, in my opinion. He’s smart, cynical, and full of repressed angst. His scenes with his old man, Pierre Chang (Dharma’s “man behind the curtain”), were a nice touch.
The strangest thing about these two eps? “What lies in the shadow of the statue?”
At the end of “Dead Is Dead,” I assumed Ilana and Bram were part of another Widmore-funded team hellbent on reclaiming the Island from the Others. But then, in “Some Like It Hoth,” the very same Bram tried to warn Miles against working for Widmore.
What faction do Ilana and Bram represent? They aren’t Widmore, and they certainly didn’t recognize Ben. I was assuming that Lost’s eminent war would be between Widmore and Ben (two factions of Island-loving Others), each using 815-survivors as pawns. But now there appears to be a third party involved.
- Kate and Jack’s confrontation with Roger Linus = boring.
- Jack this season = too passive.
- Juliet this season = ditto.
- Kate, Sun = does anyone really care anymore? Do the actresses?
- 1970’s plotline = getting old.
- Desmond = bulletproof.
- When Janitor Jack was wiping down the blackboards, they were covered with notes on Egyptian history. More evidence that Egyptians = Aboriginal Islanders.
- Locke lately = reminding me why I love him.