the awesome/terrifying freedom

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lost 3.19 'the brig' *spoilers*

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written by: damon lindelof and carlton cuse, the show runners, and the 2 people responsible for the grand arc of the lost story.

directed by: eric laneuville. this guy's been around forever. handful of emmy noms and a win for i'll fly away, a show from the early 90's i've never heard of. he directed episodes of l.a. law and quantum leap! though his lost pedigree is not the strongest. he directed the rose/bernard episode, s.o.s., my least favorite in the show's history. though he also helmed season 2's the other 48 days later, one of my favorites. this season he also directed the wimsical but slight hurley episode tricia tanaka is dead.

so this is one of those eps where i really would love to have the dvds, because it demands that you just go right on to the next episode.

many threads and questions in this ep:
  1. what do the others expect of locke?
  2. the others are not all muffins and bookclubs.
  3. what's rousseau gonna blow up?
  4. sawyer's dénouement
  5. keeping and not keeping the naomi secret
  6. the jack/juliet plan
  7. is naomi from the future?
  8. about that plane wreck and those bodies..
  9. about that 'old' place they're going..
1. it gets irritating that locke isn't asking any of the questions i want to hear: how did you get here, dad??? what is the point of all this, ben?? at least the writing lately has allowed other characters to express the audience's frustration, but locke seems content with ambiguious answers, maybe because he enjoys doling them out so much.

2. so what's really going on here with the others? cindy seems to be fully indoctrinated as an other. did she have to kill her dad too? maybe she got a free pass when her boyfriend gary troup was sucked into the turbine? it hadn't struck me until now that we haven't truly addressed the reason -why- they're on the island at all. why do they stay there when they have the ability to leave? what does it offer them? it's a big question, which probably won't fully be answered until next year. next week, however, it looks like we'll get a pretty good picture of where they came from.

this story of locke's admittance to a commune hinging upon killing someone was very elegantly foreshadowed in episode 3 this season, further instructions. "are you a farmer or a hunter, john?"

3. rousseau has been hangin' around a lot this season. the writers don't want us to forget she's out there, and now she's got dynamite. we've been promised a rousseau flashback next year. the thought alone excites me. i hope they do it justice. in 'stranger in a strange land,' my least favorite ep of the season, there was a starry montage of alex and carl looking to the sky from opposite ends of the island. we haven't seen carl since. has he teamed up with rousseau?

4. i wondered who would be surprised that locke's dad turned out to be 'the real sawyer.' i happy to read on other's blogs that casual viewers, those who had forgotten about sawyer's quest, found that reveal to be hugely satisfying. it was played similarly to the jack/claire half-siblings plot point: not a big dramatic moment, but a development that opens itself slowly through the episode. josh holloway did really great work here. the actors this season must be so happy to get all these great scenes to sink their teeth into. i couldn't help thinking, though, as sawyer killed cooper, 'this is exactly the same way princess leia did jabba the hutt.'

5. as ryan points out, choosing sayid to keep the naomi secret was an inspired choice. equally inspired is how quickly the secret falls apart. sayid can't help playing with the phone in the open, and once kate knows, everybody knows. kate's confrontation with jack was interesting. when she mentioned the parachuter, jack/juliet exchanged a look, as if they knew this was coming. does this also have to do with mikhail frantically running to naomi's beacon? after communications went out, have the others been expecting their many mainland operations to come searching?

6. we got a little hint of jack actually having a plan at the end of this ep, as i've suspected - though whatever he's got brewing with juliet is about to get blown to hell when sawyer comes marching back to town with that tape recorder. poor juliet. will she ever get a break? so what is their secret? i don't think we have enough information to even guess at this point. whatever their plan is, it doesn't involve rallying troops for an inevitable battle - it seems to hinge around just waiting - waiting for something to happen, and kate's news about naomi looked to be just that 'something.' it's frustrating that they are gonna hold onto the jack secret until the finale. rrgh!

7. the writers made sure to point out that naomi's phone was more advanced than anyting sayid had ever seen - and the screen design is suspiciously similar to the iphone.. is it a futurephone? so here's what i'm thinking: does time off the island progress at -our- rate? in the off island world, is it may 2007, while on the island it's december 21, 2004? at the end of season 2, where in time were we when penelope received the arctic "we found it" phone call?

of course all they have to do is ask naomi "what's today's date!?" and we'd know, but no one other than desmond would have a reason to think the timeline is wonky. damon and carlton speak regularly about the importance of the walt/michael storyline. it seems to me that off-island time must move at our rate, to explain walt's growth when they eventually reappear.

8. naomi is not lying about the wreckage of the plane and the bodies being found. cooper said the same thing, and it's too far a stretch to connect their motives to tell the exact same lie. the dharma/widmore/others seem plenty equipped to stage a wreck.

another theory is that naomi is from an alternate timeline in which desmond attempted to save the plane from crashing (by continuing to push the button), in the same way he's now trying to save charlie's life, and similarly, all he did was postpone. the plane crashed anyway, off the coast of bali. but it's unlikely that's the case. i was really really hoping for an 'alternate timeline' story for nikki/paolo and didn't get it, so i'm not holding out for that anymore. "othercorp" is rich. they staged the wreck to protect the island.

9. so, the big-ass old column they tied cooper to wasn't the camp's final destination.. ben said they were going to an 'old' place. that column looked pretty similar to... it's four toed-statue time, peeps. i'm guessing that smokey is tied to the civilization that built the statue, and uncovering that story will be next year's hatch.


many character-based aspects of the story are winding up - sawyer has killed the real sawyer, we know what kate did, we know how locke was paralyzed, and he's faced the man who did it - there are still some big character questions left, but for many of the leads, it doesn't seem like there is as much flashback story left to tell.

damon and carlton have been mum about how successful they were in negotiations with abc to end the show on their terms - i hoping that all of these concluding threads are an indication that they did get their way and are now bringing us into act 3 of the larger story, knowing exactly how many episodes they have left before the grand finale. please please please let that be the case.

minor gripe of the week: i would have shown desmond's discovery that naomi had been hired by penelope. that's a huge moment of confirmation in the desmond story. instead we learn it long after his discovery. probably there wasn't time, and they couldn't shortchange the sawyer story.

also, that dharma van had better become important soon.

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