Saturday, February 23, 2008

LAYING AN EGG



"No clever arrangement of bad eggs ever made a good omelet." - C.S. Lewis

You know how it is when you try to break an egg with one swift motion over the side of a cup? But you slip and the egg falls on the floor and makes a gooey, sticky mess? You know that feeling?



Well, I think that's kind of what happened here with this episode. The good folks at Lostpedia are always very helpful after episodes like this, when you honestly can't imagine what the frak the writers were trying to say. They provided this informative blurb about the name of this episode:

"EGG-TOWN is a pejorative term that refers to the days of bartering, during the 1800s. A traveling salesman would have to barter his candy or tobacco or shoelaces for different commodities. A poor exchange would be for eggs, a relatively common item that is also highly perishable. Nobody wants to trade for eggs from a traveling salesman, because they have their own, so the salesman who accepted an egg in exchange was forced to accept a bad deal. Salesmen would use the term like "If I were you, I would stay away from Bogart. That's an egg-town." Of course, the lack of trust among salesmen was also high, and it was likely that one salesman would lie to another about the quality of a town's customers to keep them for himself. Invariably, the second salesman ventures into Bogart only to find it is truly an egg-town. He is either persuaded to not visit a town that has good customers or is tricked into visiting a town that can only offer eggs. In either case, the term "egg-town" represents a deal with undesirable outcomes."


I appreciate this description, because without it, I'd have had the entirely wrong idea about this episode. I'd be thinking more like - Who were those people in that cheery little yellow town? Was this the Alternate Universe episode where our characters all got bodysnatched into a situation comedy?



Sawyer and Hurley are just two wacky roomies now! How cute! A man who reads but his friend likes to watch tv! Quick, get them a spinoff!



And here's adorable little Clare! We learned that Clare really wasn't all that attached to ole Charlie. Seems all she really wanted was a way to get those nasty nappies powder fresh! (Sorry, Chollie.)



And look! Auntie Kate has dropped by to sit fer a spell. She's feeling all wistful about how sweet it must be to have a little young 'un to cuddle. Because apparently she forgot all about that fairy tale from last year...you know, the one where the pregnant women all DIE!!!!



Judging by the content of this episode, I think it was ok for all of us to forget about that silly story. I think the Super Sperm and the Killer Pregnancy subplots went the way of the Caves, into Loose End Limbo. Even though sex and babies featured prominently in this episode, that once major theme seemed to have become magically irrelevant.

In fact, we seem to have done a 180 all the way back around to square one.



Sigh. I thought we had at least covered that. But apparently not.

I was getting dizzy watching this episode. It was all so very confusing. Who were those people? I almost expected the Cylons to come marching out of one of the sunny little cottages. OK, I'll admit there were a few familiar sights.

Jack still can't get anyone to take his calls.



Hurley's still the butt of all jokes,



including the old favorite: Fat Man Takes a Dump Upstairs.



But overall, this episode felt like the bottom of a rabbit hole where common sense fell in and ended up like a loose pile of scrambled eggs...mixed in with the rabbit shit.

"I hope some animal never bores a hole in my head and lays its eggs in my brain, because later you might think you're having a good idea but it's just eggs hatching." - Jack Handy



Come on! Let's regroup. This is Lost. There are certain prevailing, underlying themes. Right? Like government for instance. Here we have John Locke, namesake of the great political philosopher, cooking up a recipe for his own personal utopian cult. He's going for something somewhere between democracy and dictatorship, with just a soupçon of metaphysical mystery mixed in.



He's instituted an interrogation protocol.



He's got Ben stowed away next to the Wishing Box.



He's assigned every one to their little houses.



Dinner is at six.



He's a little confused. He still doesn't understand why he hasn't received his communiqué from Jacob. And truth be told, he doesn't seem to be in this for the long haul - seeing how he cooked the last two eggs and then killed the chicken.



But he's trying to make sense of things, in his own demented fashion. He even comes up with this zany idea : "There's no use having rules if there's no punishment."

Hmmmm. Sure about that, John?



Kate has broken a few rules in her day. To be precise, there was:

Fraud



Arson



Assault on a federal officer



Assault with a deadly weapon



Grand larceny



Grand theft auto



and - the shiny red cherry on the top - Murder in the First Degree.



Whew! That sounds like Kate will have to go to jail for a really long time! Federal crimes. State crimes. Crimes in Iowa. New Mexico. Florida. Capital crimes. This is some serious shit. Naturally, a story about redemption will want to pay careful attention to how it addresses such a crucial theme of guilt and consequence. Of course we know Kate has to get set free, because she's needed in the storyline. But surely there will be a cool twist to how the writers acquit her. Surely the writers will use this opportunity to dole out another clue about the international crime bosses who are behind the nefarious Island mysteries.Or perhaps they'll use the trial setting to delve into profound themes of moral cause and effect, of what it means to face the bar of justice and accept a verdict. Or perhaps they'll just say the hell with it! Let's drink our lunch today!



At first it seemed confusing how Kate was being tried in California State Court for crimes she didn't commit in the state of California. But actually, this made perfect sense! Because see, it's different in Kollyfornya. It's Hollywood! They have crazy trials there all the time.



It's the magical venue where the laws of American jurisprudence all become part of the Code of Make Believe. In fact in Kollyfornya, even "character" has a different meaning. As Kate's lawyer explained, "It's not about what you did or didn't do. It's about who you are." Get it? It's like this:



Apparently, in Kollyfornya, evidence is superfluous. You don't have to face federal charges after state trial. The prosecution doesn't even have to put on a case. All you need is a star witness, preferably one whose prior death as a major plot point has been magically reversed,



and have this secret star witness bestow her forgiveness in a private backroom meeting. Even for the crimes she had no involvement in. Thanks a lot, Moms! Nothing like waiting til the last minute...



...but nobody cares. We're in a hurry here. We have a lot of contrived nonsense to stuff into one episode and we're running out of time.

That's not all you need in Kollyfornya to be released from seven felony counts on state and federal crimes committed in other jurisdictions. You need one more thing...



You need JACK! If Jack vouches for you, seriously, the state, the feds, God himself - they'll all forgive you. With Jack on the stand, looking for all the world like an angelic little choir boy with his scrubbed apple cheeks and his cowlick licked down, there is simply no jury on earth that will convict you.



Good Saint Jack came to the stand. He teared up.



He clenched his little jaw.



He reeked of sincerity.

Of course, he also committed Perjury. He blatantly lied under oath without a care in the world about it. Real perjury, not play perjury. He testified that only EIGHT survived the crash, that Kate singlehandedly saved FIVE of those lives and sustained them until rescue. But never mind that. Perjury, shmerjury - this is Dr. Emo we're talking about here. He said that Kate was really really nice to everybody.



And she's like the bestest person in the whole world.



And plus, she's really pretty.



So she can go home.



And that was it. Seriously. They could have thrown this project out to a class of fifth graders and they would have come up with something more convincing than this.

Of course this wasn't really about Kate's guilt or innocence. It was about All of Kate's Men.



Because, when you come down to it, it's never been about Kate at all, has it? Kate's just a vehicle the writers use to work out their twisted notions of sex and guilt.



They let Kate do naughty nekkid stuff with the beautiful Sawyer.



But then they make her act very offended about it.



There was a not so subtle message hidden in this episode. Listen up, kids: Sex iz bad. Srsly. What you want to shoot for is one of these chaste parking lot relationships, where you kind of stand around like wax museum figures and never touch. Preferably for years. That's where it's at. Trust me.



It's actually a very basic Morality Fairy Tale that grade school girls learn right from the kiddie magazines in their pediatrician's waiting room.



In this episode, Kate learned the very important lesson that there are two kinds of men:



the hot, saucy kind that are only good for one thing, and



the limp, noodly kind, that are just useless entirely.

There was a tiny bit of a double standard at work here. Seems the quality of mercy is only strained when Kate's the one dishing it out. She got so mad that Sawyer was happy about her not being pregnant on a deserted island with one of those killer fetuses,



that she knocked him in his head.



But when Dr. Schmoopy McPerjury gave her the cold shoulder



because his fragile, quivering psyche was too distraught and overwhelmed to face this



actual human being back in the real world, she seemed to be willing to cut him quite a break.



Maybe Kate has a soft spot for delicate men. Who knows? She seems to have been a loving and responsible mother to Clare's son Aaron. Could there possibly be some ulterior reason for her forgiving mood towards Jack? There was something creepy about this little family,


since we all know it means that something unspeakably tragic has happened to this little family:



Kate didn't just get herself a pass out of prison. She also managed to nab Clare's kid. Remember how Aaron was not to be raised by Another? Seems Kate was the Another that Clare was being warned about. Did Kate kidnap this baby to provide herself some kind of cover? Is she pretending to be his biological mother? Did the authorities just decide an American felon wanted on seven capital counts made the optimum home for a little Australian orphan? We'd think on it a bit more, but at this point, really - does anybody care?



Nah. Didn't think so.

What is Jack afraid of when it comes to baby Aaron? The kid didn't strike me as especially terrifying. Is he maybe like a Damian child? Is there something secret and evil about him? Or maybe a convenient sci fi loophole would come in handy here. Remember those 31 minutes? Aaron looked about two and a half, at least, meaning Dr. Emo has been ignoring his existence for quite a long while. Or maybe not. Maybe all those 31 minutes got stored up someplace and they're acting like a human growth hormone on little Aaron. Maybe Jack's only been avoiding Kate and Aaron for a few months, but Aaron's growth is super accelerated. You know, like Walt's. By next spring, maybe Aaron will be big enough to pitch for the New York Yankees! Or maybe there's some other crazy twist. Maybe that whole Ghostbuster theme that was introduced is all going to tie in when Aaron achieves his true identity:



I think that's about as good a theory as any given the quality of the presentation. I've come to the conclusion there is just no point in analyzing something, even an episode of Lost, when it descends to this level of schlock. Yeah, I know Locke gave Ben Philip Dick's Valis to read and Sawyer was reading The Invention of Morel and the helicopter didn't reach the freighter and Miles wanted exactly 3.2 million and Daniel is never going to be able to win at blackjack in Vegas.



I get it. But it feels like there's no point in going out to research time dilation theories and the implications of wormhole travel and all the esoteric literary references to twins and quantum physics if these writers think they can get away with shovelling us shite like this. This is a two way street here buddy. Let's just call a spade a spade. This was a clunker. From the high school musical make up all the way down to the choppy editing, it didn't feel like a story. It felt more like An Ending In Search of an Episode.

We know Lost will recover. We've been here before.



We just kinda hoped we'd never have to go there again.

"Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid."--Mark Twain



The prosecution rests. It's a first offense for this season. So, after due and sober consideration, we've decided to let you go with a week's probation.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

*Dies in pleasurable seizures*. Fish, if you were on a stage right now, I'd probably start throwing bras at you. Seriously. It's that good. One thing I loved that you pointed out is the difference in Kate's reaction to the baby dismissal by both of her men. Don't think anyone mentioned it yet. And here I was thinking that oh, wow, the epi sucked, but at least Kate is standing firmly on her own feet now. Hell no. She's still the same submissive thing towards Jack, only it's coated prettily now, just like herself.
Thanks a lot for this wonderful recap!

Sassynails.

Anonymous said...

The 3 Stooges photo is perfection.

And I'm sorry this is the first time I've gotten around to leaving a comemnt on your new review journal.

- Cactus

Lynn said...

Great review, Fish! I think it's just what we needed after this episode. Got some good laughs from the review and I can only hope that the writer's have planned to correct what went wrong in this episode.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Sarnoff and Gregg Nations are left with egg on their faces after this miserable mess of an episode. Your recap, Fish, went straight to the heart of the incongruities of Eggtown. Bravo! I barely recognize Kate and Sawyer in the embarrassingly juvenile dialogue and inconsistent characterization by Nations and Sarnoff. I want to forget I ever saw this episode. Thanks for making me laugh; I've been feeling really cranky since the episode aired.
Saska

Anonymous said...

Well, at least something amusing came out of this episode. Thanks for bringing in the egg-town reference; maybe there actually WAS a good reason for calling this crapfest Eggtown. And the little discourse on John Locke, who doesn't seem much interested in individual liberty any more.

The nice thing about living in chaste-parking-lot-encounter land: actual intercourse is not required. Someone else will do the hard work of getting and bearing the children. You just need to look dewy and accessorize the nursery well and will be lauded as Lost's Best Mother.

Lizzie

susan14509 said...

Great recap, Fish! I'd watch a Hurley and Sawyer spinoff. Loved your portrayal of Jack in the courtroom. Goofus and Gallant comparisons were great! For as disjointed as this episode was, you put it together beautifully!

Kimmerz said...

thank you, i've never been dissapointed with a lost epi before, that jack one just cracked me up, but this was just bizarre. i talked to my friend leah after it who's been a die hard lost fan and we couldn't make sense of it. it was so weird and out there. claire forgot about charlie? dan can't remember stuff? kate has no motives for ANYTHING she does?! jack testifying in a trial that was bonkers? and kate smacking sawyer for being glad that she wouldn't die from pregnancy? did she WANT to have a baby with sawyer? was that some sort of relationship test?

i want some FRIGGIN answers

-Kim

p.s. you made me feel better, this post is going in my journal!!

Anonymous said...

I love you, You're awesome, Always has the better review to each espisode.

methosrocks said...

I loved your review this week, Fish! Goofus and Gallant were perfect, as was the Three Stooges version of Kate's trial.

I think it was a sucky episode, but the recap was right on target. Don't let the nay-sayers get you down. Some people wouldn't know satire if it bit them. :)

Anonymous said...

Great review.

so true. You know, when I first watched Jack skulk over to her in the parking garage, I thought "here he goes with the stalking thing again." but the second time I watched it, it reminded me of when he approached Hurley in the gym.

Out of nowhere he appears, then begs out of there when he thinks Hurley's going to keep his trap shut. Maybe Aaron doesn't have anything to do with not wanting to follow Kate home. Maybe he was checking up on her too. It was pretty obvious he was lying about the lawyer giving him the "heads up".

Also what's up with the lack of trust. Kate doesn't trust Sawyer after a few weeks before he was going to die for her, and Hurley doesn't trust Sayid either? Something's really up.

I haven't read any Jater crap, I'm sure they're rejoicing, and ignoring the fact that Kate was all set to stay in the barracks after Jack's big ILY (she could have gotten the info she wanted from either Dan or Lapidus...or even from Charlotte on the trek back to the chopper). SHe wasn't even planning on telling Jack good bye. I think she really did want to stay...only she's still not ready for taco night yet, even with Sawyer. Hopefully she'll realize her mistake.

And how was Locke busting into Claire's house without knocking?

SunSpot said...

I liked this review wayyyy more than the episode. Perhaps you should send your resume to Damon and Carlton.

The Stooges and Goofus and Galliant.. brilliant.

LOL

Anonymous said...

Thank you Fish for a spot on review. Who were those people on screen? Indeed, if cyborgs suddenly appeared everything would make more sense in this episode.
Kate's character took an irreversible blow. Now it's Juliet's turn.

-we2

Anonymous said...

Kate's character took an irreversible blow. Now it's Juliet's turn.
Yes, by all means let's throw Juliet on the alter of 'everything revolves around our hero'. The Jack love that continues to stink up this show has ruined half the characters on it including our cardboard hero, why not the lovely and strong Juliet. All it took to get Kate off from a laundry list of crimes was for Jack to show up and FINALLY absolve the tainted fugitive of her past. Problem is he can't seems to manage the final blessing, there seems to be something terribly wrong with her current status as Aaron's mom that even St. Jack can't swallow. What did you do Kate?

Anne said...

Right on the money as usual Fish. I was pretty underwhelmed by the episode. So many contrivances to get to the final twist. I felt it was a case of characterisation being shredded in order to get from point A to B to C in the OMG it's Aaron ending. And Kate's trial was the biggest farce of all. I get that they need their lead female free and not clapped in irons for the rest of her natural life, but why didn't they use the influence of Ben or Abaddon to have the trial be rigged? That at least would have been more believable.
Sawyer was an insensitive ass, Kate a contrary bitch, Jack an emo wussy. It was more of the same in that area and I am getting tired of it.

LostTvFan said...

The perfect review of the perfect pile of suck Eggtown was. How could any of that fractured episode be taken seriously? I keep asking myself if Damon and Carlton are that stupid or if they just think we are? Neither of these writers should ever been allow to look at or touch a Lost script again. The only excuse for letting them touch this one I can imagine is that there is a shortage of writers in Hollywood we were not aware existed. If TPTB could sit in a screening room and green light this episode after the first three nearly perfect ones with a straight face they deserve the slide the ratings are taking. I think they owe Lost fans everywhere an apology on screen before next week's episode airs.

freckles said...

Fish, I love your reviews. Keep calling them as you see them. I am still saddened by this poor excuse of an episode, but your review got me smiling for a while again. Thanks, I needed that.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you said in your review. Seriously, Kate doesn't have to go to jail because of Jack's testimony? I guess he has now cleaned her of all of her sins. Let's all worship Jack and his goodness. Well, it looks as if Jack has lost his balls on the island considering that he can't face Aaron, who is a small child. And I pray to god that this was ES last Lost script. She has fucked up too many episodes by now and has played a huge part in Kate's degradation.

Jayemel said...

I don't think the episode was great, but I don't think it was bad by any means. Like I wrote in my column, remember, this country's judicial system let OJ off for a double murder. I think Kate could get off too. The only real joke was the lawyer wanting less of a sentence. He should have just been like "Howie, I'll take the deal" the way Kate was when the prosecution offered it.

Other than the trial, I think you were wise to point out the Sawyer and Jack dichotomy the way you did. Suddenly, Sawyer is no longer the deep character he was, and Jack is the infallible hero again.

Then again, it's like you said, Jack committed perjury. Jack and Kate always has been and always will be based on lies.

Kathy M said...

Love your writing style!

When Kate jumped at the offer of 10 years probation she reminded me of Kramer always accepting the settlement ('Marlboro' man ad, free latte for life, et al) before his high profile attorney, Jackie Chiles, could stop him.

Anonymous said...

i think you need to watch this episode again, fish. your review is very basic and childish.

i thought it was a decent episode with lots of significant dramatic metaphors. you seem to have missed any and all subtext.

YOUR REVIEW (not the episode) seems like it was written by a child.

i expected better from you. i generally enjoy your reviews. this one was dumb. you seem to excuse writing a poor review on the fact that you thought the episode was poor. thats your opinion and you should feel free to voice it. but a good writer can write a readable and intelligent review bashing something they dislike.

all you've done is write an infantile rant.

Anonymous said...

Hey, FB, the sanctimonious nerds from DarkUFO seem to have followed you over here. Why not post your humorless lectures over there where you've got plenty of self important fanboys to back you up?

This show, for all its entertainment value, is not rocket science. It's not even literature. It's lowbrow pop culture entertainment. I think The Fish is the only reviewer who really GETS this show.

If you can't laugh at this show when it puts up an episode as awful as this one, you're really missing out on most of the fun of watching Lost. Think about it - if Lost were really such an intellectual adventure, why would it attract so many pretentious morons to its online fanbase?

Anonymous said...

funny... but I often wonder why you even watch the show if it's that painful for you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this review of "Eggtown", Fish.

Although I was totally spoiled about this episode, I thought it'd be better written and developped.

I'm not sure if the writers just made this episode to have SKaters happy or what. We are not like Jaters that go crazy and all excite with a silly look or word (I mean, a yell) between Jack and Kate.

I think we're smarter than that and deserved better treatment. That Kate and Sawyer kissed and and ended up having the most stupid fight from all episodes make me think that TPTB doesn't know where they're going.

The whole Kate trial is a joke and Kate running away from SAwyer for, I honestly don't get why. I'm with Sawyer about what he said to her.

Besides, if Miles would have told Kate they didn't know anything about her and what she had done, she would have run away immedately from Otherville instead of going to Sawyer?

Nothing is clear in this episode but unlike the previous ones that are far interesting and witty, this one seems silly. It's like suddently they've changed the characters personalities and we're watching another show. Everything that happened in the past is forgotten.

I do hope the writer analyse what they're doing and where theye want to go 'cause this episode has no the high level than the three previous ones this season.

Talliann said...

(Sorry for the double comment. Forgot to sing up previously.)

Thank you for this review of "Eggtown", Fish.

Although I was totally spoiled about this episode, I thought it'd be better written and developped.

I'm not sure if the writers just made this episode to have SKaters happy or what. We are not like Jaters that go crazy and all excite with a silly look or word (I mean, a yell) between Jack and Kate.

I think we're smarter than that and deserved better treatment. That Kate and Sawyer kissed and and ended up having the most stupid fight from all episodes make me think that TPTB doesn't know where they're going.

The whole Kate trial is a joke and Kate running away from SAwyer for, I honestly don't get why. I'm with Sawyer about what he said to her.

Besides, if Miles would have told Kate they didn't know anything about her and what she had done, she would have run away immedately from Otherville instead of going to Sawyer?

Nothing is clear in this episode but unlike the previous ones that are far interesting and witty, this one seems silly. It's like suddently they've changed the characters personalities and we're watching another show. Everything that happened in the past is forgotten.

I do hope the writer analyse what they're doing and where theye want to go 'cause this episode has no the high level than the three previous ones this season.

Anonymous said...

I loved this ep coz to the bone I am a skater fan. NOw that being said...Sawyer acted like an a$$ this ep coz for man who wants his love to stay with him, celebrating her non pregnancy like he won the lotto was not cool (yes Kate didn't want a baby but judging by her reaction to Sawyer's reaction, she wanted to be his baby momma).


I suppose in her eyes it was a test and he failed...and Sawyer then summerised the situation by adding insult to injury by saying she'll be back when Jack pi$$es her off (I would have slapped him too).

Kate is not confused abt who she loves,(it's sawyer)just that from time to time she forgets who he is and where he comes from and what he can be like at the worst of times.


So hence she decides to do the Jack puppy love thing that makes her look like such a loser coz he treats her like a child.

Skate has a long way to go b4 this thing of theirs is resolved.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, okay, so much to say. Kate just sucks. She's young, and immature, and doesn't know what she wants and has no core. She committed unspeakable crimes only to prove that she could, not because she has any conviction. She got Dr. Tom killed! The love of her life, her best friend growing up - Dr. Tom with his wife and new baby - she got him killed and then jumped out of the car and hauled ass. She should be willing to go to jail just to pay some sort of penance for that - men have repeatedly paid hefty prices for her insecurities, and then she hightails it out with no explanation. I'm not a Skater or Jater, but simply because I'm not a fan of Kate - she deserves no happiness until she can muster up some remorse. Sawyer's proposal sent my uterus into a seizure - roof over their heads, showers, electricity, beds? What else could she possibly want? The writers have done a very good job of ensuring that we know she has nothing else to go back to, why doesn't she know it? Stupid, stupid, stupid. This episode was choppy and silly and it was impossible to tell where Kate was coming from - poor writing or Evi's poor acting, not sure which reigns supreme. No, Sawyer, she's definitely not pregnant - I'm fact, with her PMSlike symptoms of inconsistent moods, tempermental and demanding behavior, I'd say she's about twelve hours from a visit by Flo...

-Flaknitter