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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Commercial Interruption: Gassin' up the chopper for the "Lost" finale

(Ed. note: Because we couldn't post pictures earlier, we broke up our "Lost" discussion into two parts. Here's part one.)

Sometimes there's just too much television for one Channel Surfing blogger to handle.

That's when we need a break to sit back, relax and indulge in some friendly back-and-forth (via email of course, we don't actually like to speak to one another in person). Having fully digested the "Alpert test" and Locke's cabin craziness from last week, bloggers Adam Reinhard and Thomas Rozwadowski are getting ready for the three-part "Lost" finale -- part one begins tonight at 9 p.m. -- with an unhealthy stash of Apollo candy bars and a fancy-schmancy detonation device strapped to our arms. DON'T TELL US WHAT WE CAN'T DO!

Thomas: A chewed-up red pen. A promo copy of the "Surreal Life" starring Ron Jeremy and Vanilla Ice. A box of Claritin redi-tabs. A three-year-old Oh Henry! mini candy bar. And a Press-Gazette security badge that was once placed in Jell-O.

So Adam, which one of these items on my desk has belonged to you already?

Considering Locke is my all-time favorite "Lost" character, you'd figure my love for "Cabin Fever" would be overflowing. And hot damn, you'd be right. Learning about preemie John's entry into the world was clearly meant to evoke memories of Ben poking his beady lil' eyes out early. And the name Emily -- yeah, kind of important. So much happened in this episode, I don't really know where to begin. First, any episode with Richard Alpert popping over to the maternity wing is bound to get me sitting on the edge of my seat. I don't think I've ever been more entranced by a TV character, though I suppose that's largely because we don't know anything about the ageless wonder.

Even as the show pulled us into the past with some sock-hoppin' Buddy Holly tuneage, I felt like there was some time manipulation going on. It appeared that's where everything was heading with Alpert's question to young Locke about which item he already owned. But it also appears that the test could be some kind of Dalai Lama ritual about how the correct item is supposed to represent who you are, not who you want to be. Knife throwing skills apparently aren't going to get the island to miraculously move.

Also, Bunsen Burner Locke was clearly the George McFly-Sam Weir of his high school. Poor guy. Ironic that on the island, he's not the man of science, but the man of faith. Don't ever tell Locke what to do, Nerdlinger, the Guidance Counselor! So before I jump into the "Claire is Dead, Christian is the Walrus" theory, I ask you this: how come Island Locke doesn't recall that first meeting with Alpert, or better yet, why didn't the Smoke Monster give him some serious chills considering he drew a FREAKIN' PICTURE of it way back in the day.

Adam: Before you get carried away with another one of your mind-boggling, time-bending, pants-wetting theories, may I first suggest that perhaps Ben and Locke having similarly named mommies is merely a coincidence? Wasn't it Mr. Eko who said, to John no less, "Do not mistake coincidence for fate." It was already established in Season 1 that Locke's mom's name was Emily. (Remember crazy Swoozie Kurtz?) Let's not go making people think that Ben and Locke are somehow half-brothers, or the same person, or even pen pals twice-removed ...

OK, maybe they're brothers ...

Anyway, lawd almighty, what a great, dense, bewildering episode that was. I agree with you that Alpert's appearance in the nursery was an ass-knocker, and suggests that Locke was being groomed for his appearance on the island by the Others. But then Matthew Abaddon shows up to plant the walkabout idea in wheelchair-bound Locke's head, and my head did a 360. Did Widmore, who I'm still presuming is Abaddon's boss, handpick Locke to crash on the island? And what will Locke end up "owing" Abaddon?

Also, standing ovation to Kevin Durand as Keamy, probably the best new villain the show's had since Ben. He plays Keamy as a terse, coiled snake, capable of sudden, jarring acts of violence, as is evident by Thursday's deaths of the doctor (well, we knew that was coming,) and Captain Gault. I highly doubt we'll ever get a flashback on the guy -- let alone do I suspect he's going to survive the season -- but the dude absolutely owns every scene he's in.

As for Locke's seemingly absent memory, I don't think I would be able to recognize some dude who came to my house for three minutes when I was five years old either. Plus, are you sure that drawing was Smokey? It looked more like a campfire to me -- which shouldn't be any less significant, that he would sketch himself in a classic deserted island scenario.

OK, now hit me with this coo-coo-ca-choo theory of yours.

Thomas: No. No. No. Ben is Locke's father. And Charles Widmore is his grandfather. Aren't you watching the same show? It's SOOOOOOOO obvious, dude.

OK, in all seriousness, I don't have any wacky theories this week. I just wanted to toss in a Beatles reference. But c'mon, you can't possibly call it coincidence after they revealed both Ben and Locke to be premature babies! "Lost" doesn't work that way, right? And Locke is a super-baby to boot! So yeah, I think it's official. Jor-El is Locke's father.

Also, something is definitely weird about Claire, you know, beside the fact that she abandoned Aaron by a tree and blindly followed the ghost of her dead father to a mysterious cabin in the woods. I mean, didn't she seem pretty out of it while smiling in the corner? It appeared that she was highly content (or contentedly high? The island may be growing good herb ...), but also oddly sinister in a cat-just-ate-the-canary kinda way. I haven't been that freaked out since Cooper had an other-worldly sitdown with Laura Palmer and that crazy-talking dancing midget in "Twin Peaks." Now I know there's a prevalent "Claire died in the house explosion" rumor on the Internet -- since when does Sawyer see and carry dead people to safety? -- but Ghostbuster Miles bugging out around her a few episodes prior certainly adds an extra layer to her surprise appearance next to Pop Shepherd.

Couldn't agree more about Keamy. I think my wife put it best by saying, "That guy looks like a rapist."

If you're implying that both Abaddon and Alpert were trying to get Savior Locke to the island for their own purposes in this "game," I could certainly buy that. I've also stopped trying to assume anything about either because we haven't been given nearly enough information to make educated guesses -- though I suppose none of my guesses really qualify as educated anyway.

I took the childhood picture to be Smokey. In fact, it looked to me like a re-creation of the time Locke was dragged into the hole. Also, Alpert and Locke's meeting: that's pretty significant, even for a five-year-old. I remember every Atari game I played when I was four, so I'm damn well sure I'd remember grabbing a sweet-ass knife, which caused some dude to get all huffy and walk out of the house. In fact, Locke's face afterwards was the face of pure trauma (of course, foster mom didn't help by placing blame at his feet.) Plus, Richard looks exactly the same on the island as he did in that flashback, so it's not as if Locke has to really rack his brain to remember what the guy looked like years and years ago. He was sitting right in front of him when Alpert placed the Sawyer file in his hands! Also, Alpert's line about Locke already having a good grasp on backgammon? Verrrrrrry subtle.

Also, two weird things that I'm hoping you picked up on: Horace Goodspeed in his little chatty-chat with Locke kept re-introducing himself. After his first bloody nose, he says, "Hi" again. Then, after chopping down some trees, he says, "I'm Horace." Was Goodspeed engaged in some Desmond-like shenanigans? The bloody nose would certainly imply some mind-warpage/time-loopage, as it seemed to me that he had arrived into that conversation with Locke three separate times. Then again, it was supposed to be a dream and I once dreamt that Godzilla was trying to eat me and my mom, so you know, do what you will with that information ...

Finally, Ben to Locke: "I'm not you." "You're certainly not." Sarcasm or something ... else?

Spoiler clip from "There's No Place Like Home, Part One"

-- Thomas Rozwadowski,, Adam Reinhard,

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