Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lost recap: Between a Locke and a hard place

I must say that I really dug last night's episode of "Lost," even though it was one of those episode that mainly serves to fill in past events, instead of advancing the plot. But I liked the simple, clean format of the episode, which allowed us to gauge the vastly different reaction that each person had to seeing Locke alive. In the spirit of that, I'm going to divide my recap of episode seven, "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham," into sections, based on each place Locke "traveled" to, starting with the island.
* The Island: The episode opens with one of the passengers of the Ajira flight (we learn his name is Caesar), rooting through some sort of Dharma den. Sayid's escort (whose name is Ilana)then tells him about a man in a suit who is roaming around the island with the survivors, and who she doesn't remember seeing on the plane. Caesar goes to check it out, and after a painfully long reveal, we see that it's Locke. Well, of course we knew it would be. He's alive and he doesn't remember much...except for dying.
* Tunisia: We flash back to Locke and Christian at the Frozen Donkey Wheel. Locke pushes it in, Christian tells him to say hello to his son, blah, blah, blah. And then Locke is in Tunisia -- still with his compound fracture. I just want say that the scene with Locke lying terrified and helpless in the desert, with those cameras looking down on him, is another in the show's long list of memorably creepy moments. Eventually, he's rescued and taken to some sort of makeshift hospital, where his leg is reset in the most graphic way possible (yes, I shrieked and covered my eyes. I know it's just TV, but it was still really gross). It's around this time that we see a familiar face -- Matthew Abbadon, who sent the Freighter Folk to the island, came to Hurley at Santa Rosa and convinced Locke to go on the walkabout that led him to the island. Who is this guy? Not long after, we see another old friend -- Charles. He's at Locke's bedside, explaining that the cameras were his, and wanting to know why Locke left the island. He also mentions having met Locke when he was 17 -- amazing that he'd remember, since the meeting was so brief and unexceptional. Maybe Richard has told Charles about Locke, and about how he's fated to be a leader. Locke explains how he's trying to get the band back together to return them all to the island...and that Richard says he must die. That part doesn't sit well with Charles, who says that shouldn't be necessary. But he agrees to help with the rest, providing Locke with a fake ID bearing the name "Jeremy Bentham," (who, incidentally, is Canadian). Locke asks why Chuck is helping him and gets yet another of the show's creepy, cryptic replies: "There's a war coming, John. And if you're not back on the island when that happens, then the wrong side is going to win." OooooKaaay. Um, I'm assuming the war is between Widmore and Ben. So which is the wrong side? Just who is evil? We don't know yet, but the show is starting to depict Charles in a more sympathetic light (aside from that teenage neck snapping, but hey -- kids will be kids).
Anyway, Locke's pilgrimage begins. As a nice parallel to his pre-Island life, Locke is conducting these visits in a wheelchair, due to his leg injury. Thus, when he visits the ex-islanders, they'll see him in this state for the first time. Interesting.
* Santo Domingo: So Locke and Abbadon (who, we learn, definitely works for Widmore...maybe) are off to find the ex-islanders, starting with Sayid, who is trying to cure his I-worked-for-Ben-Linus hangover with some old-fashioned charity work. Sayid won't go back to the island, but, for the first time, takes a very Zen approach to the loss of his wife. If he hadn't left the island, he explains, he never would have married her and they never would have had even the brief time they shared. Locke moves on, not deterred by Sayid's rejection. On to...
* New York: Locke waits outside Walt's school. Though he's not part of the six (and, presumably, wasn't on the Ajira flight -- at least, we didn't see him on it), of course Locke would visit him. They were friends, and Walt is, by my count, the only one purely happy to see him. He asks about his dad, and Locke confirms that Michael came back to the island, but doesn't reveal that he died (I presume that Locke knows Michael is dead, but maybe he doesn't and was being honest). Note: Didn't Walt tell Hurley that Locke/Bentham told him that the Six were lying? It didn't seem that that was part of their discussion. Did we only see part of their exchange? Did they meet again? Hmmm. Abbadon (whom I'm calling Abby from now on) is giving Locke crap now about his ineffectiveness at convincing the gang to go back to the island. All it takes is one, Locke says.
* I'm grouping all the California visits together, starting with Hurley. This one is my favorite, because Hurley initially takes Locke's visit in stride, thinking he's a ghost. It's only when he learns that Locke is alive that he freaks out. Ha! He also recognizes Abby from his creepy visit and runs off. Locke confronts Abby, asking just who the hell he is. Abby reminds Locke that he's the one who convinced him to take the Walkabout. Locke remembers. That's what I do, he said. I get people where they need to be. Again, oooookaaaay. Off to Kate, who tells Locke that she won't go back, and that he's in love with the island because he's never loved a person. That's not true, Locke says, and tells her about Helen. She's not convinced. And Locke, finally, learns from Abby that Helen died. Locke blames himself, though Abby said she probably would have died anyway. If, in fact, she's really dead. Show of hands -- anyone believe that Helen is actually dead? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Moving on, they're, I presume, about to see Jack (he really does keep his promise to Jin about not seeing Sun) when Abby gets shot! Not expecting that! Locke, in a panic, tries to drive off, causing the car accident we saw in last week's preview. He's injured and ends up being treated by...Dr. House? No, just joking -- it's Jack, of course.
Jack asks what he's doing there, and is the only one visibly shaken and upset by the encounter. Quick-thinking Locke, realizes that Jack must be Christian's son, and passes on his message. That explains why Jack starts to wig out about his dad shortly thereafter. Locke then heads back to his hotel room, despondent, and ready to commit suicide when...Ben shows up. Because I'm running out of time, I need to shorthand the rest. Ben talks Locke out of killing himself, persuades Locke that he's the future of the island...then murders him. Um, why? Does it have to do with learning that Jin is alive? The mention of Eloise Hawking? The fact that Ben is a skeevy little control freak with a you-can't-quit-I-fire-you approach to life? WHY????
* Back to the island. Locke talks to Caesar, who tells him that certain people, including Hurley, simply disappeared from the crash (Note: apparently, Frank Lapidus and some unidentified woman have run off with the flight manifest. Who's the woman? Sun? Someone else? WHO???). Caesar also takes him to see the people injured in the crash...including Ben!! Hey, Locke says, I know him. He killed me. Boom. End of episode.
All in all, an interesting episode, and definitely an acting showcase for Terry O'Quinn, who could win another Emmy off of it. Next week, former islanders and current islanders unite!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Taste the happy!

Just a brief bulletin to share some happy news -- after much speculation and rumor it appears that a movie sequel to Fox's short-lived, Emmy-winning cult sitcom "Arrested Development" is moving ahead.
To which I can only say YAHOOOOO!
Though there had been word for some time that there would be an AD movie, rumors had it that a single holdout among the show's cast was gumming up the works. But today, entertainment news outlets reported that the holdout, Michael Cera (aka awkward teen extraordinaire George Michael Bluth), had caved and the movie would, in fact, be made.
This is, of course, happy news to the shows core of rabid fans...provided that the film is well-made, and preserves the wacky spirit of the TV show.
We'd hate to think that everyone involved has made a huge mistake.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar impressions

Admitedly, there was a time when I watched the entire Oscar ceremony from start to finish. I loved the spectacle, the speeches, the superiority of knowing that a movie I had seen had won a major award. But, in recent years, my enthusiasm for the Oscars has waned. Let's face it -- the host's jokes are usually funnier in retrospect than they are on the air. A lot of the bits fall flat entirely. And the fashion and speeches are far less outrageous in this press-savvy age.
Plus, I'm married now, with a husband who is far more interested in watching NASCAR than in knowing who won the Best Supporting Actress Award. However, we did watch some of last night's Oscar ceremony -- enough for me to give at least some of my thoughts on the show. Here are the highlights:
* Hugh Jackman's opening number. OK, all can agree that singing, dancing movie star Hugh Jackman -- best known for the kind of big-budget superhero flicks that will never be recognized at these kind of shows -- seemed like an odd choice for the Oscar host. But given how ill-received recent choices, such as Chris Rock and Jon Stewart have been (not by me -- I liked them both), maybe going with a non-comedian and Hollywood insider was a smart choice. After all, Jackman was pretty good. He had the energy, charm and presence to hold focus. And you know what -- that opening Oscar number was pretty cute, especially when he brought in Anne Hathaway to play his Nixon in a "Frost/Nixon" tribute. Maybe it wasn't a showstopper, but in the words of the immortal Mary Richards, it was not awful. It was really not awful.
* But those panels of past winners who announced the nominees for certain categories? That was awful -- a total time waster, and often a reminder that the winners on stage really hadn't done much since they took home the gold. And what was up with Goldie Hawn and that boob-squishing dress during the best supporting actress presentation? It totally looked like her butterflies were longing to be free.
* Penelope Cruz won for Best Supporting Actress, for "Vicki Cristina Barcelona," a movie that, like many of the nominated films this year, I haven't seen. But Penelope is very the point where she actually starts HYPERVENTILATING ON STAGE!!! Pen, I know you never dreamed that your career would survive that whole Tom Cruise thing, but calm down! Luckily, Goldie and her breasts are on hand to escort Penelope off-stage without incident.
* This is around the point where I was in and out of the Oscars (though Fox kept helpfully showing the names of the winners in crawl throughout the NASCAR race). But I did see a few funny bits, such as Jack Black saying that the best way to make money from voicework in animated films was to do a Dreamworks movie, then go to the Oscars and bet your whole salary on Pixar. Tee hee. Though, seriously, the man will never work for Dreamworks again.
* Did see the best supporting actor presentation, though we all knew the late Heath Ledger would win. Still, his dad gave a touching speech, and a few people in the crowd did look genuinely moved. A nice moment, if a predictably one.
* The NASCAR race ended not too long after that, but my husband and I opted to watch the episode of "Big Love" we taped instead of the middle section of the Oscars. It was a good choice -- did you see Big Love last night??!! It was crazy! See, that's why dysfunctional families shouldn't go on road trips together.
* Big Love is over, and it's back to the Oscars. Hey, we're already at best director! Cool. Danny Boyle wins for "Slumdog" (which I actually did see) and jumps up and down like Tigger, which he promised his kids he would do if he ever won. Judging from the fact that his kids don't look like they're at the Winnie the Pooh age, I'm imaging that Danny has been looking for a win since "Trainspotting." Which is kind of sad.
* The tribute to those who passed is appropriately tender and heavy-handed, but the rendition of "I'll Be Seeing You" by Queen Latifah was lovely, and she looked nice. And, as a Connecticut girl, it was nice to see the tribute montage capped by some clips from the great Paul Newman.
* Kate Winslet won and, even though I didn't see "The Reader," her enthusiasm and sheer lovability made me happy she won. When she made her dad whistle, it was one of the cutest Oscar moments ever.
* More proof that Mickey Rourke deserves his comeback. After all the buildup for his performance in "The Wrestler," when he lost to Sean Penn, Rourke looked genuinely gracious. Yes, I was hoping he'd throw a chair. But the fact that he could compose himself speaks well of him.
* "Slumdog" wins best picture! It was the only nominee I saw, so yay! Also, I'm now glad I didn't waste time or money watching those four other losers!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lost recap: The Locke is thy Shephard

Really, my feelings about last night's episode of "Lost" can be summed up in a simple phrase: Craziest. Damn. Thing. Ever.
Seriously, I don't even know where to begin in assessing last night's insanity. Was it awesome? Well, yes of course. Do I understand everything that happened? Well, no. No I don't. Am I going to try to sum it all up for your benefit?
Why yes. Yes I am.
Below are thoughts about, highlights of and general musings on episode six of season five, "316."
* The opening scene of the episode was an almost perfect echo of the series' first moments. We get the closeup of Jack's eye, Jack wearing a suit, Jack's slow realization of his surroundings, the sound of yelling in the background...but it's not a flashback. Jack, we quickly learned, isn't on the beach. He's in the jungle. That yelling? That's Hurley yelling his name.
Jack runs to Hurley, who's stuck in the lagoon, helps him and then sees Kate conked out on a rock. He revives her and she asks him if they're back. He says yes. They're back. OH MY FREAKIN' GOD THEY'RE BACK!!! I totally wasn't expecting this to happen until much later in the season, but I'm so excited! Best...opener...ever!
* After the first break, we start to find out how they got back, picking up where we left off last week. Eloise Hawking is with Ben, Jack, Sun and Desmond and starts explaining how the island was found, how it's located in time and blah, blah, blah. OK, can I just say I hate it when Lost gets all mathematical on our behinds? Any time I see an equation written on a board, my eyes glaze over. But the upshot of her lecture is that, to return to the island, as many people from the original flight as possible must board a different plane, headed into a "window" that will lead them to the island. They must recreate the original circumstances of the flight as closely as possible. Hence, carting around the decaying corpse of John Locke. Eloise gently explains to Jack that Locke is a proxy -- Jack was traveling with his dad's body during the original crash. Thus, he needs to travel with a body again. This time it's Locke. Oh, and Locke's going to need something of Christian's. Crazy!
* Desmond quickly learns that Jack and Sun are looking to return to the island. He wants no part of it. He delivers Dan's message to Eloise (and what was up with the vacant look on her face when Desmond mentioned her alleged son? Is he not her son? More likely she, with her creepy omniscience, knew this was coming) and Desmond leaves.
* Eloise also tells Jack that Locke killed himself and left a note. Jack, being a tool, refuses to read it. Grr.
* The flight the Six must take back to the island is an Ajira Airways flight. What -- so that Ajira wreck the islanders found was in the future, not in the past? Were the Six the ones shooting at them? Ack! Brain overload! Brain overload!
* Jack has a grandpa! One who magically, conveniently materializes with Christian's shoes just when Jack needs something of his. Hmmm.
* When Jack gets home, Kate is there, alone, and refuses to discuss Aaron. Will we find out what happened to him? My guess is that he's with Claire's mom, but I'm not sure. Anyway, she's in on the whole "return to the island" thing now. They go to the airport the next day and find Sun...and Sayid...and Hurley. Sayid's being escort by some female law enforcement type. Hurley's alone. How did they know to come? We might never know. No, we'll know. I'm sure they'll tell us. A year from now.
* OK, how much do we love Hurley? Everyone else is thinking of themselves and their particular problems, and our favorite cursed lottery winner is the only one who thinks of buying up all the unused tickets on their flight so unsuspecting folk won't end up on the Island of Doom. Aw. What a good guy.
* The flight number is 316, hence the title of the episode.
* Ben is reading Ulysses on the plane. Sigh. Yes, we know the Others are highly evolved and all, but can't he read trash on the plane like the rest of us? Does Ben not own any Crichton?
* Hey, it's Frank Lapides, helicopter pilot, flying their plane! Yay! Even though I saw Jeff Fahey's name in the credits, I didn't know how they would work him in and was totally surprised.
* But what was up with Frank's reaction when he sees Ben and the Six (or, I guess, the Five now that Aaron's not there) on his plane? Was it me, or was he just way too calm? I would have screamed "Oh Hell No!" and reached for the nearest parachute.
* While giving Locke Christian's shoes, Jack tucks the suicide note into his coffin...only to have it given back to him on the plane. Oh Jack, just read the note. It says simply "I wish you had believed." Damn, John. Even in death, you can still bust Jack's chops.
* I'd be hard-pressed to pick the episode's best moment, but I think it might have been that flight, when everyone else is just happily sitting around, not knowing what's coming, and the Five Plus Ben are all tense and poised, just waiting for the moment of doom. Of course it comes right after Jack reads the note and...we're back where the episode started.
* Note: Not Jack nor Kate nor Hurley remembers the plane actually crashing. But we the wreck later. What happened? Did the plane crash and the Five plus Ben time travel? All we know is that, once Kate is revived, the VW-Dharma bus approaches and who should emerge but...Jin? In a Dharma outfit? Whaaaaa????
* Ok, I've been saving some stuff for the end. We NEED to discuss Ben's errand. Was it just me, or when Ben departed the church to "tie up a lose end" did you shriek "Holy Crap! Penny is a dead woman!" Whatever the errand was, it didn't go well. Ben calls Jack, covered in blood, and needs him to pick up Locke for the flight. And he arrives on the plane all cut up with his arm in a sling. Whoa. Ok, I am seriously terrified for Penny.
* Also, I guess we should mention Ben's lesson in Doubting Thomas, since there's a clear parallel between DT and Jack, the Man of Science. Ben specifically mentions the heroic side of DT that no one seems to recall. Does Ben see himself that way? As a misunderstood hero? Who knows. This makes me nuts sometimes, but it's these kind of complex questions that make me love it so.
Next week: The Jeremy Bentham story.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Lost" recap: Smokey on the water

Previously on "Lost," I nearly burst a lung shrieking when Jin came back from the dead, with the aid of a young Danielle Rousseau. Then, on this week's episode, I was treated to the return of Smokey, the pilot-gobbling, white-noise spewing "security system" that occasionally snakes around the island destroying all in its path.
Oh, "Lost," you are far too good to me.
Anyway, here are some more highlights from episode five, "This Place is Death."
* Can I just take a moment to talk about how much I missed Jin? I missed him so much, and am so glad he's back. Throughout the course of the series, he's gone from a strong, silent bully to a warm, loving husband willing to do anything to protect his wife and child -- even if it means never seeing them again. And, I know everyone is all about Penny and Desmond, but Jin and Sun remain my favorite "Lost" couple. Even when they're apart, they seem so connected, so motivated by their love for each other. Also loved the moment when Jin and Sawyer reunited (though, seriously what was up with the look of surprise on Jin's face when he turned around and saw Sawyer? Didn't he recognize that voice immediately? I sure did. But perhaps I'm a bit more tuned in to Sawyer than Jin is. Tee hee.)
* Ok, back to business -- Jin quickly realizes that something is not right, due to the appearance of Young Danielle, and the fact that she apparently thinks it's the 1980s. He starts to take the French crew to the radio tower. We get a cute interlude between Danielle and her mate Robert about the gender of Danielle's baby. He thinks it will be a boy -- Alexander. But she's convinced it's a girl, Alexandra. We know she's right, which makes us love Danielle all the more. Of course, this cuteness is interrupted by a visit from our favorite island ghoul, Smokey the wacky smoke monster. Yay!
* We quickly learn how Danielle's colleague Montand lost his arm and, frankly, I was kind of glad. Sort of a jerk, wasn't he?
* We learn that people can actually be possessed by the island and change personality. It happened to Robert, right before Danielle shot him.
* Poor Charlotte. She was just starting to get interesting, and now I'm pretty sure she's dead for good. Though the nosebleeds continue in all the previously afflicted people (Sawyer gets one, too), they're the worst in Charlotte. She can't walk, and starts to go a bit batty, talking about her father, hearing music, etc. Is her consciousness traveling in time? I'm not sure -- she was pretty lucid most of the time. At any rate, she starts to deteriorate, getting worse with each flash. The group wants to go to the Orchid, but Dan won't leave Charlotte. When they're alone, Charlotte admits that she was born on the island (which we kind of already knew) and that she and her mother left years ago -- but her dad stayed behind. Huh. I know this is a long shot, but is it possible that Charles Widmore has another daughter? She also says that, when she was young, a man came to her telling her not to return to the island, because she would die. Turns out that man was...Daniel? Huh. We have seen him in the past, so it's possible. Not long after, Charlotte dies (I think).
* Quick thought: remember how, when we first see Daniel, he's watching news of the 815 crash and crying -- and doesn't know why he's crying? I'm now pretty sure that those tears were over Charlotte.
* Nice moment with Charlotte in Jin. He babbles in Korean and asks her to translate. Everyone assumes he's talking to Miles. "I'm from Encino," Miles whines. Ha.
* Quick mention here of "the well." When Sawyer suggests that the Orchid might not be there when the gang gets to it, Charlotte creepily intones "go to the well." When the gang gets to the Orchid, it is there, then Juliet jinxes everybody by expressing her glee. Of course, they travel in time...and the Orchid disappears. Juliet's ill-timed gloating does not go unnoticed by Sawyer. But, hey look -- it's a well. I'll be damned.
* The episode gets its title from Charlotte's warning to Jin not to bring Sun back. Jin is immediately convinced, and begs Locke not to find Sun. What if she finds me? Locke asks. Tell her I died, Jin says, handing Locke is wedding ring to use as proof. Of course, this is the same ring Ben uses to prove Jin is alive. Argh.
* When John is trapped in the well, he meets up with Christian Shepherd, who tells him the time travel nonsense is due to the fact that Ben moved the island, not Locke. He leads injured Locke to the Frozen Donkey Wheel and he departs.
* Best exchange:
Christian -- Say hi to my son.
Locke -- Who's your son?
*And now, sadly, I must discuss the Oceanic Six. Sigh. I am so OVER the Oceanic Six. Yes, I love Sun, Sayid and Hurley but they need to get to the island already. When Kate and Sayid took off at the airport, my husband groaned "This is so frustrating!" Indeed.
* Michael Emerson, however, continues to rock it as Ben. Every word out of his mouth is gold. Just give him the damn Emmy already!
* So, Ben convinces Sun Jin is alive, she doesn't kill him and the go to the church where Mrs. Hawking is. Desmond is there, too, looking for Dan's mom. Turns out, she's Mrs. Hawking (I think), which we sort of already knew. Mrs. Hawking chastises Ben for not bringing everyone. This is the best I can do on short notice. Mrs. Hawking gets to work.
Next week, I believe we learn more about Locke's quest to bring the Six back and maybe, just maybe, they start to head back to the island. Please, please, please.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Amy Sedaris on "The Closer!"

Don't know about you, but I've been immensely enjoying "The Closer's" mini-season, now airing 9 p.m. Mondays on TNT. I this week's episode, which introduces a creepy new nemesis for Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick), and it's a good one. But, I'm even happier to report that the following week's episode will feature the great comic actress and writer Amy Sedaris!
She plays Fritz's nutty sister, and might be even more high strung than Brenda. Here's a sneak peek.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cool Dollhouse/Terminator preview

So, even though I'm a bit bitter about Fox shunting off the excellent "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and the promising new Joss Whedon show "Dollhouse" (a full review of that show is coming next week) to the Friday night ghetto, I've got to say that I love their new promo for that Friday night lineup. It's done in the style of grindhouse cinema, complete with scratches, and wacky color schemes. Yeah, it might not be the most appropriate advertising for two dark dramas about the delicate nature of humanity, but the commercial sure looks cool. Take a gander.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lost recap: Oh. My. God!!!

Oh my God.
Oh my God.
Just...oh my GOD!!!!
So, so much juicy, twisty stuff was revealed on last night's episode of "Lost" that words fail me. And those final moments were so good that I almost didn't care that a big chunk of the episode focused on Jack and Kate, the show's two least interesting characters. In the interest of time (mine and yours) below is a somewhat brief rundown of some of the highlights of the episode, "The Little Prince."
* At the episode's start, we learn that it was Kate's idea, not Jack's, to pretend that Aaron is her baby. Jack agrees reluctantly, and leverages this into persuading Kate to back him in urging the others of the O6 to lie. Huh. Not that interesting, but somewhat important, I guess.
* Charlotte, as it turns out, isn't dead, or even mostly dead. After a few minutes in La-la-land, she wakes up and seems fine. As she's lying unconscious, Sawyer and Juliet good cop-bad cop Daniel about why Charlotte went haywire. Daniel claims that it's some sort of time travel jet lag. Juliet seems skeptical. Meanwhile, a few minutes later, Miles starts getting nosebleeds, just like Charlotte did before her collapse. He pulls Daniel aside and asks why. Again, Daniel blames time travel. But, Miles points out, how can time travel be such a big disturbance to our systems? We just got here. Are you sure about that? Daniel asks. Ahhh. This little tidbit seems to confirm one thing we kind of already knew (that Charlotte was born on the island) and another thing that many observant viewers have already guessed (that Miles was also born on the island, and is possibly the son of Dr. Chang, Dharma scientist and man of many names and disguises). Later, Juliet has the same nosebleeds. Is it because she's lived with the Others for years? Or maybe we'll eventually learn that she, too, was born on the island? I don't know. My head hurts.
* Meanwhile, back on the mainland, Sun keeps getting creepier. She loans Kate a suit so she can go meet again with Mysterious Lawyer Man to discuss the Aaron situation. Kate leaves Aaron with Sun and, shortly after she leaves, Sun receives a package containing surveillance photos of Ben and Jack and a scary, scary gun. Nice touch -- the gun is disguised in a box of chocolates.
* Nice mislead regarding the Aaron situation. Kate tails Mysterious Lawyer Man from her meeting with him, thinking he's going to meet the person who's trying to take Aaron away. She follows him to a hotel room where he's meeting...Claire's mother! But, when Jack goes to talk to Claire's mom, he finds she knows nothing about Aaron. Cut to a few scenes later, and Mysterious Lawyer Man is discussing Hurley's legal situation with Ben. Sayid asks Ben who Mysterious Lawyer Man is. "That's my lawyer," Ben says. Oh Ben, you tiny evil mastermind you.
* While we're on the subject of Hurley, can I just say that the bursting-at-the-seams orange jumpsuit he was wearing while at county lockup was one of the best visual jokes we've seen on the show in a while?
* And, while we're on the subject of Sayid, who else here is waiting impatiently for an episode that consists of nothing but Sayid just beating the snot out of people?! That scene where he outwits, strangles and shoots the Orderly of Death was so great...though, during the strangling scene, I briefly expected him to start yelling "Who does Number Two work for??!!"
* Did anyone else see a connection between something that happened on-island and something that happened off island?: when Jack and Kate first arrive at Claire's mom's hotel, the weather is calm. Then we cut to the islanders, furiously paddling away in their little boat. There, too, the weather is calm, even though people are shooting at them. Then, they time travel, and it's pouring rain all of a sudden. When we cut back to Kate and Jack at Claire's mom's hotel, it's pouring rain there, too. Just wondering if this means something.
* Touching moment: during one of the flashes, the islanders arrive at the night of Boone's death/Aaron's birth. Sawyer sees Kate helping Claire, and watches her wistfully. The relationship between Kate and Sawyer is one of my least favorite parts of the show, but the combination of pain and joy on Sawyer's face upon seeing Kate again was quite lovely. Nice work by Josh Holloway here.
* Oh yeah, and by the way...JIN IS ALIVE!!! Oh my God! When the French folk found the man floating on the raft and turned him over to reveal it was Jin, I nearly burst my husband's eardrums screaming "He's alive! He's alive! WOO-HOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!"
*And seriously, could they have drawn out the whole Danielle Rousseau reveal any longer? The second we saw the young French woman with long brown hair I shrieked "Danielle!" Then she chatted with Jin, and I kept shrieking "Danielle! Danielle! Danielle Danielle Danielle!" Then we saw her pregnant belly and I yelled "Oh my God! It's Danielle! It's obviously Danielle! Just tell us it's Danielle!" Then, finally, the woman told Jin her name: Danielle Rousseau. Well, duh.
* Did I mention that Jin is alive? JIN IS ALIVE!!!!!!
* The episode, incidentally, takes its title from the classic book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, which I had to read in high school French the original French. Oh yes. I am super-sophisticated.
* NOTE: This is an update to the post, on Friday, Feb. 6. I was apparently so excited about the return of Jin that I neglected to mention the creepy scene where Sawyer and co. discover that Rose, Bernie, Vincent, etc. are all gone from the beach. Also, it seems another plane, from an airline called Ajira Airways, also crashed on the island. Not sure what this means yet, but it seemed worth mentioning.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My pick for the best Super Bowl commercial

Yes, I know last night's Super Bowl was a pretty good game but, from my perspective, the best part is always the commercials. Last year we got stuck with some pretty stinky ones -- including those racist cartoon pandas -- but this year's crop was all right. Granted, there was nothing quite as much fun as Hank the aspiring Clydesdale from last year (I thought this year's Clydesdale commercials were just so-so), but there were a few that had me chuckling, including the Cash 4 Gold ad with Ed McMahon and MC Hammer trading in artifacts of their once-lavish lifestyle for dough and the ad featuring Conan O'Brien's ill-fated decision to do a commercial overseas.
But my favorite was the commercial about supremely confident David Abernathy. It's everything a commercial should be -- funny, clever and connected to the product.
I've embedded the video below, in case you missed it.