the awesome/terrifying freedom

out here, somewhere, figuring it all out.

lost 3.18 'd.o.c.' *spoilers*

written by: edward kitsis & adam horowitz. this duo has written some great episodes including my favorite of the much maligned 6 episode 'mini-season:' sawyer's fake heart-bomb story in 'every man for himself.' they also wrote the nikki/paolo 'exposé,' which i felt was successful, though it sparked more debate than any other episode this year.

directed by: fred toye, his first episode of lost! i'd say he nailed it. he comes from the j.j. abrams stable, having produced and directed many episodes of 'alias.'

we are heading towards the climax moment, and if the quality of the episodes continues to climb, the catharsis will probably make my head explode.

the ratings for lost have been climbing as the doubters come back to the show. doubters who will realize that the show -does- indeed have a plan, and who will have to either download the episodes they missed, or buy them on dvd, which should only help restore the network's faith in the show. even if the numbers for ad revenue go down, they're still making a fortune on dvd sales, right?

i'm happy that my faith is paying off. these last few episodes have been phenomenal, and perhaps now people are seeing that we needed the expository opening act of the season in order for the latter half to work as well as it has been.

on to business:


who is she?

let's look at the evidence in favor of her being affiliated with mittelos bioscience/widmore/the other's on-shore enterprise:
  • cycled through several languages before finding one that only she and mikhail could speak.
  • had a blinking beacon very similar to the one on the food drop
  • told mikhail 'i'm not alone' in portuguese.
  • was perhaps no coincidence that she landed near the cable controlling the submarine beacon.
let's look at the evidence in favor of her being hired by penny:
  • photo of desnelope
  • portuguese copy of catch-22, reinforcing connection to portuguese artic crew working for penny.
  • said 'i am not alone' in portuguese, after she had made the connection with mikhail in italian, so maybe she was just deslusional from the pain and didn't have some weird motive.
we just don't know enough to make any good inference at this point. ryan is completely certain that she's working for charles widmore. at this point i'm leaning towards her not being affiliated with the others/widmore. if she's with the others, she would know good and well where flight 815 actually crashed, and would probably be as well briefed on the flight dossier as the rest of the tribe. it doesn't make sense for her to 'act surprised' and then drop a crazy potentially alternate universe revealing bomb as a lie devised by the others.

naomi is there for something else, possibly desmond, and probably hired by penny, but paid for by penny's dad, charles widmore, whose company is affiliated with dharma, which is maybe why she's got a matching beacon. so she comes with a connection to the others, but isn't actually one of them.

we'll know soon.


this story was just beautiful. the acting was great, the stakes were simple and clear, and the writing was strong enough to give us a flashback serving an emotional purpose rather than a mythlogical one. elizabeth mitchell. what a coup in casting her. she finds a way to make neutrality compelling. her scene with yunjin kim was heartbreaking. it's so rare to see a scene constructed around simultaneous joy and dread, and here we see it clearly in both actresses. everyone involved has got to be damn proud of that scene.

this episode is the payoff of over a year of buildup. let's look back at how carefully constructed this was.
  • season 2, episode 5: jae, the potential other father of sun's baby, was introduced as a suitor to sun before she ever met jin.
  • season 2, episode 16: we learn that sun has been learning english from jae, we see that there is tension between them, but we do not know if they've 'done the deed.' when we learn that jin is infertile and yet sun is pregnant, we infer that she did indeed have an affair with jae, though we never see it. a pretty blah ep that seemed to have no greater consequence.
  • season 3, episode 2: jae and sun's affair is discovered by her father, which leads to jae's suicide. jin is unaware of the affair.
and then this week's ep, whose suspense is drawn from the entire sun/jin story coupled with the grander pregnancy-peril arc that has been in play since claire was taken in season 1, episode 10. like locke being pushed out the window, this episode has been a long time in the making. but unlike locke, the true weight of this mystery wasn't revealed until juliet's flashback.

which means the writers are giving us many pieces of information that may seem inconsequential, but are actually building on greater mysteries and reveals yet to come.

so i'm going to hold out for a while before i make any further judgements on my least favorite episode so far this season: jack's tattoo episode, which seemed to go nowhere, with a flashback that didn't add much more to the story than incorrectly translated characters on his arm. the finale is going to answer big questions about jack - what happened to him during that week with the others, and probably tell us the missing second half of his story in thailand.

i'm guessing it's also going to be a game-changer, which is why i'm certain that jack is holding on to crucial information, just waiting for his moment to exploit it.

'no survivors'

of course the big kicker was naomi's last sentence. thankfully, she didn'tdie right after saying it, so we'll hopefully get a little more info out of her before she starts screaming in russian for mikhail to shoot her or something. but let's look at some possibilities:
  • the survivors crossed over to an alternate universe. in the 'real world,' the plane really did crash.
  • widmore/mittelos/dharma has enough money and influence to stage a wreck to protect the secret of the island.
i'm gonna go with #2. if we were still in season 1, the first option would be very probable, but since the final scene of season 2, we've now seen several instances of crossing back and forth to and from the island. i don't think they're in another dimension. however, it is still possible that the timeline moves differently on the island, and this may have been a factor in widmore/dharma/the other's ability to stage a wreck.

ah but here's another possibility:

naomi is from an alternate future in which desmond stayed at his post and continued pushing the button. it turns out the plane was going to crash anyway, but unaffected by the magnetic anamoly, it ends up nowhere near the island. in this alternate future, penelope is still looking for desmond, and sends naomi.

last week it was the badly photoshopped monk pic. here is my

minor gripe of the week:

juliet stops the recorder and says to ben, 'i hate you.' it's just too obvious, too on the nose. i mean, maybe on heroes, but not on lost. mitchell could easily have said the same thing with only her face. close her eyes for a second, show some doubt in what she's doing, then put the recorder back.

dropped box? oh..

uh, just felt my first earthquake. it was a little one. it sounded like someone dropped a refrigerator in the next room. my boss came out and said 'did you feel that?'

yep, it was a quake.

i watched most of 'the secret' video, which i see is now up on youtube. some of it i like, some is just plain common sense, some of it completely lacks common sense, and some of it is infuriatingly awful. that odd confluence has had it lingering in my mind for weeks.

here's what i like/agree with:
  • positive thinking opens you up for positive things to happen, likewise with negative thinking/negative things.
  • in order to get what you want, you must be able to express it clearly.
and that's about it. one of the troubles with the 'positive thinking' mantra is that it is not a simple thing to do. emotions cannot be manipulated. our way of expressing them can be habitualized, which i think is really what 'the secret' is trying to get us to do.

there's a catch-22 inherit in the philosophy: it asks us not to focus on the times we don't get what we want (negative things), and to rejoice in the things we do get - so in the end what we're left with is all the times the secret "worked" for us, and we've successfully ignored all the times that it didn't. faithful pursuit of this mantra will result in a 100% 'secret' success rate!

in the video we see a man gay-bashed by thugs, then he subsequently bombs at a comedy club. he uses 'the secret,' and is suddenly treated nicely by would-be attackers and knocks 'em dead at stand-up. here's where the secret begins to get delusional, and we haven't even gotten to the curing cancer part yet.

i'm the first to tout the power of positivity. it's taken years of painful learning for me to see that those who look for problems find them, and those open to opportunity meet it. i believe that it's about adjusting your perspective to an impartial world. must we be willfully delusional? can't we be optimistic realists?

being an optimistic realist means understanding two basic points:
  • 'positive' and 'negative' are subjective concepts.
  • events that occur outside of human influence are neutral.
what is 'positive' to me, is likely also a negative force encroaching on someone else, somewhere. everyone believes that whatever it is they're doing, they're doing the right thing.

i can't take responsibility for the actions of others, or for events out of my control, and i don't belive that tragedies happen 'for a reason.' the secret would have you belive that you do have control over people and events, that you have some magical special-effects wave-like power that washes over the globe when you make a wish - a power that stops them from doing whatever it is that you would consider 'negative.' if these negative things do happen to you, it's your fault for not wishing it away hard enough.

no amount of positive thinking is going to stop a stupid girl (who is probably using 'the secret' to get to work on time) from making a left turn into my car.

no amount of positive thinking is going to make someone (who is probably using the secret to 'make the world a better place') hell bent on kicking the shit out of a faggot suddenly rethink a lifetime of hatred.

'the secret' isn't going to clear traffic for you to get to work on time, and 'the secret' isn't going to create a traffic jam to delay your boss long enough to finish your report.
what is also so disturbing about the 'secret' is how unabashedly materialistic it is. nearly all of the 'wishes' you're encouraged to make involve getting things, getting rich, a new car, a new bike: stuff. it doesn't tackle the basic wish most of us have - 'to find happiness,' because a state of induced happiness is required in order for the secret to work in the first place. 'be happy' it says, 'and you'll get the stuff you want.'

aside from the materialistic aspect, i do agree that expressing what it is you want puts you on the fast track towards getting it. the trouble is, it can be so difficult to figure out what you really want, but once you know, once you really know, (and by really knowing i mean, knowing fundamentally what you want from your life), and if you work towards building good karma, cultivating support from your friends and those around you, it will come.

mamet says that we should train ourselves to speak our aspirations without apology or arrogance. to me, that is the real secret, and i'm still working at it.

lost 3.17 'catch-22' *spoilers*

so i wrote an unnecessarily long comment on ryan's blog about this week's episode.. long enough to be my main post here, so i'm gonna copy it over.

i understand how one of the dramatic arcs of this ep centered around just how much power desmond has to change things. it seems to me that if he can't really stop charlie from dying - eventually he will fail, unless he finds an 'out' - then he similarly wouldn't be able to change the identity of the woman who parachuted to the island.

wow. that was a really simple way of saying what took me pages and pages on ryan's blog:

hrm. we need some more rules about what exactly desmond's meddling can't and can't do - i mean in real-time terms.

as an audience we are seeing the story from an outside perspective. occasionaly we will see things distorted, from a character's perspective, like when walt appears, or when characters have visions, but when these things occur, the perspective quickly switches back to third person, and the audience is informed that what we've seen is indeed a 'vision.'

so here's my trouble with desmond 'changing' the woman's identity by saving charlie - he followed his vision all the way, right up to the moment before charlie would have died. the mystery woman had already fallen from the sky, and was already in the tree.

i'm not saying it's impossible that desmond might have changed things, but if that's the case, then i think the storytelling is sloppy. if a change did indeed happen, if the episode was *really* about desmond losing penny because he had to make a sophie's choice, it would have gone this way:

act 1: desmond has a vision of charlie dying, and we -see- him unmask penelope.

act 2: filler

act 3: desmond saves charlie and we get a fancy stylized 'we're seeing inside desmond's head' montage of his visions. dez realizes the picture is changing as it's happening. he knows instantly what he's done, he sits there holding charlie, crushed. he says 'the body's over there,' disinterested. hurly, jin, and charlie rush to it, cut it down. desmond already knows it's not her. he doesn't care who it is. 'it's not her,' he even says, before they take off the mask. he's right. but she looks at him and says 'desmond.'

boom, logo.

that's the 'desmond has the power to change the timeline as we're watching it' telling of the story, but that's not what we got.. instead, dez isn't sure if it's penny at all. he only has an idea of it being her.

because most of the story was told from a third person perspective, it makes me think that desmond is a bit delusional about just how much he can change the timeline. it seems more likely to me that penny was never on the helicopter, and had her portuguese team has been doing all the grunt work from the start. desmond has doubts about saving charlie, but the tone of the episode tells me it wouldn't have mattered either way (from a penelope angle.. it matters to charlie!)

penelope just doesn't seem like someone who'd be jumping out of helicopters anyway. penny is more about getting phone calls in the middle of the night from the people who jump out of helicopters.

for a second i thought the mystery woman was ana lucia and just about had a coronary.
some things i loved about this episode:
  • sawyer asking jack and juliet, 'arguing over who's your favorite other?'
  • the ping pong scene
  • the mix tape
  • jin's korean ghost story
  • the revelation of how desmond met penny. scripted simply, and elegantly performed. making us care about this couple is crucial, and so far they've done a great job.
i still believe that jack is on to juliet, playing her own game on her. we'll find out how much he knows in the season finale.

i thought it was interesting that the writers made two deliberate efforts this season to remind us of the cable running into the sea. mikhail mentioned it as powering the submarine beacon in 'enter 77,' and now this reminder that really didn't serve any integral part of the story. the writers could easily have made desmond go to any other locale we haven't seen in a while - rousseau's original hideout, the black rock, the caves (why have we completely abandoned the caves?).. so something important is gonna happen regarding how the submarine was linked to that cable.

other things introduced this season that we shouldn't forget about:
  • the losties have a satellite phone
  • the losties have one of the other's walkie talkies (thanks nikki/paolo for the only tangible thing you contributed)
  • the losties have a van
i'm willing to bet that in ben's flashback, we will see roger alive and well, and see little boy ben riding in that van.

the absolute worst thing about this episode was this embarassingly badly photoshopped pic sitting on the monk's desk:

it's so bad that it makes me wonder if it was worth putting in. it clearly must have been a last minute decision to include it - because none of the three elements in the picture are even close to matching. the shot of the monk looks like a costume/makeup reference photo of the actor, an actor they had on hand and could have lit and posed properly to match ms. hawking. awful. i mean, a very very simple two-click hue adjustment would have at least made them look the same color.

so it means that ms. hawking's peripheral presence in desmond's story is important enough to slap in at the last minute, but not thought through enough to put proper effort into.

while i may be pretty critical of that one slip-up, it's pretty amazing that the standard of the show is reliably high enough to stand up to that level of scrutiny. a bad photoshop prop in heroes? eh, not surprising.

lost 3.16 "one of us" *spoilers!*

weeee! here we go!

directed by: jack bender. jack gets all the best episodes. jack runs the show from the hawaii end of the production. jack is responsible for getting all of the other directors on the same page, for defining the visual style that is 'lost.' and he gets all the best episodes because he can pick which ever ones he wants to do. check out this amazing interview with him.

written by: carlton cuse and drew goddard. another example of writing teams being split up this season to work with the show runners. drew goddard has had his hand in some of the best eps of this season, including "the man from tallahassee" and "flashes before your eyes." all in all, a lot of the best people on the show were working on this one.

and it showed. and boy did this one have it all, and boy did it give us some answers! in fact, it maybe gave us too much to chew on: my only lame complaint. i would have been happy not to have seen the final juliet/ben plotting scene until later on, or even not at all - my guess is that juliet is absolutely not going to follow through with ben's ultimate plan, otherwise they would never have shown us that scene. remember michael? we saw his double cross, then we went back and saw how he was coerced to do it. now that we know juliet has been primed to double cross the losties, it's not as dramatically interesting anymore to have her go ahead and follow through. no, we were shown this scene because juliet has her own very specific agenda, which won't become clear until we see ben again.

but i'm jumping ahead. first off, thank you writers for giving sayid the -real- questions we want asked. honestly, i do not care how long it takes them to answer those questions, but what i do care is that the writers address our need to hear them asked. if someone in the story isn't asking the same questions as the audience, it means the writer is behind, the audience is ahead, and becoming more and more frustrated.

(i think this is why 24 just completely dropped off my watch list this year - after they blew up a nuke in episode 4, they failed to deal with the consequences. the story veered into a poorly conceived family drama, that had me yelling 'a nuke just went off! in la! why does any of this matter!?')

this episode was completely thrilling - a great example of how it can be worth sitting through a slower-paced bridging episode to get to the payoff, and what a payoff it was. at last we know a huge part of what -the deal- is with the others, and learning it sets up puhlenty of drama. so women who conceive on the island die? i guess we'd better find out who the father of sun's baby is, huh? that's just fantastic - because now that she could die, she can't hold onto her secret about her affair anymore.

and here's the even creepier aspect - kate and sawyer were intended to mate, in order to give juliet a disposable test subject.

so does ben have some other way off the island? what can he now offer juliet to get her to follow his plan?

what i loved most about it though, was seeing juliet's flashback providing the thread to weave so many things together - ethan, goodwin, the book club, mikhail, the sub, claire's abduction..

according to insiders, we have the following updated flashback order to look forward to:

3.17 Desmond Hume
3.18 Jin & Sun Kwon
3.19 no flashback!
3.20 Benjamin Linus
3.21 Charlie Pace
3.22-23 Jack Shephard

there have been several different rumored flashback lineups - one of which had karen and gerald degroot receiving their own episode (gasp!). but maybe even more shocking is the revelation that episode 19 will have no flashbacks, for the first time ever. i am definitely intrigued, and also quite happy to see that we'll get ben's flashback in that crucial climax episode 20.

and the 2 part finale is jack's. excellent. i think jack is holding onto an ace and is waiting for his moment to play it. or was he brainwashed in room 23?

now that the story has gained momentum, i almost can't believe the season is nearly over, and that we'll be heading into a fourth year of this story. i haven't heard anything about whether damon/carlton have been successful in lobbying abc to set an endpoint for the series, but it feels like we are at least at the halfway point. let us all continue to pray that they get the endpoint they'd like and can tell the story as they have it planned out.

the latest video podcast is a fantastic look into what goes into scoring an episode of 'lost.' the music is always consistently good - funny how iconic the musical vocabulary of 'lost' is, but you don't realize it until you see a harpist actually play her one note over and over again.

Uploaded by sawyer840

michael giacchino seems like a really cool guy.


i had been battling pinkeye for over a week. last week my eyes were so red, itchy, and puffy that i couldn't even function, so i pretty much just slept for three days straight. it's interesting that the two times i've been the most ill in my life have been immediately before and after the four year period that i had health insurance.

after my eyes didn't seem to get any better after three days, i finally went to the doctor where i was prescribed eye drops to put in every two hours. 5 minutes after dropping them in, i could taste metal in the back of my throat, and a strange white film would develop on my tongue. a google search revealed that the substance in these drops is the same stuff used to combat anthrax infection. freakshow. thankfully, after 4 days, it seems to have done the trick.

new toy

matt and shoko and wren got me a little gift - 'the hatch' playset!! i was like a little kid opening it. awesome!!!!

lost 3.15 'left behind' *spoilers!*

here's some things i'm going to start paying attention to when critiquing episodes of 'lost:' who wrote it, and who directed it.

this week was written by damon lindelof and elizabeth sarnoff. damon is of course responsible for the grand arc of the show and co-wrote many of the best episodes. i wonder if there's been a shakeup at 'lost' because of the bad press the show was getting last month. damon and carlton used to only co-write with each other - now they have broken up and are involved in nearly episode as co-writer.

elizabeth sarnoff usually co-writes with christina kim. i think their best episode was last year's 'two for the road,'the climax ep of the season.

'left behind' was directed by karen gaviola, who seems to have directed for just about every show on tv, but has only done one other ep of 'lost,' last year's lackluster 'the whole truth,' in which sun discovers she's pregnant.

like the much maligned 'columbus day' episode of 'the sopranos,' this week's 'lost' was mostly setup to something larger. we are building to the climax episode. a lot of seeds have been planted and the big season plot points are coming in about 5 episodes.

let's look at the show history and the way that a season is plotted out. the season climaxes all happen around episode 20:

season 1: boone dies
season 2: michael shoots ana lucia and libby

so a typical season's 3 act structure is
act I: eps 1-6
act II: eps 7-19
act III: eps 20-24

a detail i find mildly cool is that next week's episode is called 'one of us,' and it deals largely with juliet - last season's episode introducing ben was titled 'one of them.'

so, my reactions to this week's installment:
i thought it was a very good bridging episode, which exists largely to get our favs from one place to another, and to set up conflict once they arrive at their destinations. we have jack returning just as sawyer gets comfortable as the new leader.. and it looks like sayid is going to apply his interrogation techniques to juliet..

the flashback:
unlike some, i really enjoyed the connection between cassidy and kate, and the inherent irony to come in kate's future relationship with sawyer. it was subtle and understated - i'm sure casual viewers (and those who missed the 'previously on lost' segment) never even put together that cassidy was connected to sawyer. a weaker show would have made this glaringly obvious. the seed for this crossover was planted when sawyer sat at the same diner and was served by kate's mom in season 2 ep 13, 'the long con.'

i'm guessing that there is a larger reason for connecting kate to cassidy. at some point soon there will be a scene in which kate discovers she is pregnant, and sawyer will have a second chance with kate to make right the wrongs he did to cassidy (anonymous million dollar donation to his kid aside).

a guess: there was an alterior purpose in the others capturing kate and sawyer - they wanted kate to get pregnant. they put kate in a tiny dress, they let her get out of her cage, and they made no attempt to stop then from doing it - it's like the others masterminded a full scenario for them to artificially fall in love. when ben conned sawyer and took him to the mountaintop it was as if he was egging sawyer to admit he loved kate. we still don't know how all of the fertility/pregnancy/children issues tie together with the others.

other things:

we learned the true purpose of the sonic fence, which was maybe the only bit of real mythology we got this week. seeing it in action was pretty cool though, and nicely set up by the previous episode. course, the question is, why can't smokey just go over it too?

damon/carlton have stated in the podcast that we won't see locke again for 5 more episodes - hello climax episode 20! so whatever is going on with where the others fled to, locke's father, and whatever ben and locke are up to is going to be THE BIG THING that propels us into the season finale.

my guess is that we are going to be shown a bigger piece of the four-toed statue puzzle, and that wherever they are fleeing to has to do with the ancient history of the island.

i just looked at the timeline and the calendar - so far, the entirety of season three has happened in just over two weeks! we will not get to christmas by the end of the season (it's 'currently' december 13th), so it doesn't look like we'll be skipping any days coming up. if the show is looking at a 6 season run, at this pace the show will finish at the end of march, 2005. or there'll be some crazy time thing. in any case, i'm very curious about what they'll do with christmas, as 2004 was the year of the tsunami, though the island is pretty certainly in the pacific, so would probably be unaffected.

that's better.

it's been awhile since i've done one of these, but it's been making me crazy!!! what's interesting is that trajan is not so much the font of 'serious movies' anymore, its use has shifted to trashy horror and suspense films in an attempt to cash in on the font's supposed credibility, and to give the picture an artifical sense of gravity.

though trajan is still being used in its traditional role - lame suspense movies. 'perfect stranger' and 'fracture' look like the exact same film.

and these posters are so out of date that they're using the font for its original overuse, dramatic oscar-whore epics:

some thoughts on "LOST"

i haven't written much about 'lost,' which is a shame because it's my favorite show for many reasons. i'm an ultra, mega, super 'lost' geek of the first order, and it's about time that i join the ranks of the rest of the 'lost' geeks, and write my own responses to each episode rather than just commenting on other's blogs.

before i discuss this week's episode let me point the other losties out there to my favorite websites:

lostpedia - the definitive guide/resource for all details of the show. want to know every time 'the numbers' have been seen or mentioned in the history of the show? want to know how much time passed between locke's time on the marijuana ranch and falling out the window? want to know every single time we've seen 'hot blue striped shirt girl' in a background shot?

lost blog - this sparse blog is well updated with the latest 'lost' news, and maintains a very strict spoiler-free policy. there are also some good discussions in the comments.

ryan mcgee - writes passionate and intelligent responses to each episode. he also does a podcast.i don't always agree with him, but his theories come from informed places.

so, on to business: 3.14, the nikki/paolo episode.

i had a big theory about what this episode was going to be. i was certain that damon and carlton had brought forth minor characters from the background for a big reason. they had never done it before, not like this, not in a way that credits those actors as season regulars.

my big theory was that we would discover that after desmond turned the key, a chain of events was disrupted that caused nikki and paolo to take the place of either shannon/boone, or rose/bernard. when i heard that shannon/boone would be appearing in the episode i became even more hopeful that this would be the case.

but no - the route they chose was much more traditional, and unfortunately, did not reveal any new mythological details. this bothered me at first. i wanted so badly for nikki/paolo to be tied more deeply to what was going on, which would be especially cool if their involvement was peripheral.

early on, what was so irritating about nikki/paolo had nothing to do with the actors playing them - their introduction had been handled so clumsily. they were thrown in, acting like they've always been there, and on top of that, the regular cast is acting like they've always been there too. later, (after fan opinions had set in) they did a little damage control and let sawyer say to them a few times 'who the hell are you?'

but i was a fool. i had deep deep faith in the show writers that the clumsiness of nikki/paolo's introduction was deliberate, and the only explanation for the strangeness of their appearance was a timeshift. the only other way i would buy that they'd been there the whole time would be if they did an entire episode showing us what they've been up to since the beginning.

and that's what we got. the problem was that nikki/paolo's story served no greater purpose other than to bury 2 selfish characters, and for the writers to prove that yes, they did have a plan. i enjoyed the episode as i was watching it, was on the edge of my seat the entire time, but couldn't help feeling a little cold by the end, because what can you say to that but 'wow. so what?'

but as it settles, i'm appreciating it more. i rewatched the crash scene from the pilot to see how nikki was seamlessly worked in. they must have re-built most of that set. someone mentioned that it was like an episode of 'tales from the darkside.' i enjoyed seeing shannon/boone, but was disappointed that their appearances were pretty cartoonish and one-note.

also disapointing was paolo overhearing ben and juliet talking. juliet asks ben how he's going to get jack to do the surgery. ben says 'the same way i always do.' and he should have stopped there. but no, he kept going, explaning his tactics, cheapening his entire character.

i'm torn about the meta aspects of this episode. 'lost' has never been so aware of itself as a tv show before, which i'm not sure is such a good idea. by making nikki a tv actress, specifically a guest star who is killed on the 4th season of a tv show that has kept the bad guy a mystery.. i dunno. it was cute, and i think the goal was to acknowledge the hard core fan base out there, but like ben's line about how he's going to 'find jack's weakness and exploit it,' it cheapened the whole thing just a little bit.

my goodness that was a lot. any other 'lost' fans out there? opinions?

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