Sunday, February 8, 2009

THE ELEPHANT IN THE BOA



One of the perks of Lost Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is we frequently get the chance to bastardize works of great literature into our patchwork quilt of crazy clues. Now, normally this project falls way above my paygrade. I love this show, but I don't have the leisure time to plow through masterworks like Foucault's Pendulum or Valis or the Dark Tower series. That's why I was so happy to see that this week they cut all us Lit slackers a break. All we had to do was read The Little Prince, a book so teeny you can actually read the whole thing on line in less than an hour. No kidding. Go read it. (Or just go read the first two chapters, so you'll understand my title.)



A little prince was born on a faraway asteroid.



His home had the non poetical name of Asteroid B-612. In French, that would be:



The little prince fell in love with a flower. But she was fickle and demanding.



He left her. But he could not forget her.



The prince's journey ricocheted through the asteroids of the infinite galaxy, where he had a series of bizarre encounters before he finally fell to earth.



There he met the victim of a plane crash. They formed a fragile friendship that ended when the little prince returned home through a magical devise that looked a lot like death



...but wasn't.



To make up for last week's "Efren Salonga" debacle, the Lost gang gave us a nice clean, solid anagram to work with this week. Even an anagram amateur could handle this one lickety split.



CANTON-RAINIER equals RE-INCARNATION. That's what I like. A nice clean letter to letter transference from gibberish to simple English. Now does this mean Locke is going to be reincarnated, brought back to life in a new body? Is that why Ben needs to hustle him back to his homeland? A poisonous snake bite returned the little prince to his planet, but his corporeal body was never found. It seems death is not the end of the road in allegories like this. It's just another turn around the circle.



"Oh! I understand you very well," said the little prince. "But why do you always speak in riddles?"
"I solve them all," said the snake.


Ben's Brigade continued to re-assemble, some voluntarily, some not. When his shyster wasn't exploiting poor Mrs. Littleton's tragic naivete, he was wangling a way for Hurley to be forced out of his comfy incarceration. Didn't see much of Hurley this week, but he did look adorable in his Safety Orange jumpsuit, doing his best Violet Beauregard impersonation. Stay cool, Hugo.



Question: Who keeps shooting little puffy darts into Sayid? Who besides Ben needs those O6 hotbodies?



Sun is working the deep cover. She gets her weaponry via FTD these days, just like a genuine hitman.



Who exactly is she trying to kill? Just Ben? Or does she want to take out Jack as well? And is it wrong that I'm rooting for her to succeed?



What was up with the Gruesome Twosome anyway? Could they have been any creepier?



Jack and Kate spent the episode imitating Rooster Hannigan and Lyly St. Regis as they tried to salvage their diabolical orphan-napping plan. First we saw them on the boat, nobly trading lie for lie. Kate got to keep her Cabbage Patch doll Aaron, so long as she agreed to help Jack permanently strand all the Leftover Lostaways on Hellhole Island. But when things went awry, and it seemed as if Claire's mother might have discovered what these two have stolen from her,



they joined forces again for one more sordid chapter in "The Suckage of Jack and Kate".



All Kate wanted to do was make sure Claire's ma didn't get to meet her own grandson. All Jack wanted to do was to steer Kate into the new cage Ben had waiting for her. Fun times, Jate style. I could use photos from the episode to illustrate this dreary subplot from the episode, but I thought it might be more fun to let our new stars, the Lost Untangled dolls, tell the tale instead.



I think it's time for them to wrap up this reality show and get those O-Suckers back to Fantasy Island. And it does look like they're working on that. As the episode closed out, most of the weary travelers were convening at Pier 23 for what looked like the Lost version of a Three-eee Hour Tour.



The O6 took up way too much time in this episode, because back on the Island, the time travel tilt-o-whirl was spinning into vertigo blackout. Once again, the Island was where it was all happening.



"But on your tiny planet, my little prince, all you need do is move your chair a few steps. You can see the day end and the twilight falling whenever you like . . ."

For the most part, the Lost Time Travel Rulez seemed to be holding. The Island stayed put, with each of its moments in time - past, present or future - coexisting just as they did in the instant they happened. In good Tralfamadorian fashion, each moment in time is happening at the same time, all at once, right now. Only our little band of survivors is moving, like the flakes in a snowglobe that keeps getting shook up. They left behind the Hostiles from Asteroid 1954, and time warped to a day of great importance - November 1, 2004. The day Boone left the world and Aaron entered it. The day Locke pounded on the hatch door and a light shot up into the sky and he thought he had found God.



Except it was only Desmond shining a flashlight up a hole. But you could see how he got the wrong impression.



It was eerily beautiful to see the tower of light piercing the jungle landscape, even more so knowing that there was another Locke and another Sawyer standing right there on the island at just that moment in time. Locke wisely steered the group away from the potential self encounter, avoiding the possible universe imploding disaster that might occur should one ever meet oneself while tumbling around unstuck in time. I mean, it's not like I really have any frakking clue what would happen. But Locke decided we shouldn't find out. Like Link, the Hero of Time, Locke joyfully embraces each new quest thrown into his path. Richard said to leave the island, so Locke sets right off for the only known dungeon of leaving - the Orchid.



Truth is the old bat seems like he's having the time of his loony ass life.

Things for Sawyer are not quite as pleasant.



In a moment that was as delicate as it was devastating, Sawyer stumbled onto the tableau in time when Kate helped Claire give birth to her little Lost prince.



It was painful to see him lurch towards Kate with recognition, but then hold himself, still himself, and just watch what he knew he must not disturb.



The reality of all he had lost surged through him in one passionate wave of longing and loneliness and regret. What great acting by Josh Holloway. His expressive face pulsed with everything Sawyer felt in that fleeting moment, without a word, without a muscle moving.



When the now familiar flash began to light the sky, Sawyer looked up in a panic, terrified, realizing this final moment had come where he'd really lose Kate forever. His eyes were pleading, like a moment from The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, "Please don't take this memory from me".



But she was gone. Sawyer has learned a bitter lesson. The past is irrevocable. What's done is done. Like the little prince by his selfish flower, Sawyer has been tamed, and nothing is ever going to be the same for him again.



"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."



This is as good a place as any to mention that I'm not one who is enjoying the way Juliet is going all lady shrink on Sawyer. It feels all kinds of forced. The man doesn't need to trampoline off to the nearest available estrogen based life form. What he could use however is a frakking beer.



But...that would be a big fat fail. The oogedy boogedy flashed the gang to what looked the morning after of a great big kegger, but there wasn't a brewski left unguzzled. So who was sleeping in the base camp while the Lostaways were being hurtled through time? That was the most interesting mystery of the episode. Did the time travelers bump into the future this time?



Who left the Ajira Airlines water bottle in the outrigger canoe? And who was chasing our tired time tourists when they started paddling around the Island to reach the Orchid? In the words of Butch Cassidy, Who are those guys?



Some have theorized that the shooters might have been the O6 themselves after having returned via Ajira Airlines, but I'm not seeing that. It's bad enough that they left their friends for three years to rot on Craphole Island. Don't tell me they came back and tried to kill them. In any case, Juliet managed to wing one of them, so it's only a matter of time before we find out who that wounded warrior is.



I do think they committed a misdemeanor here against the Time Travel Lawz. Theoretically, under this set of chosen Lawz, the only things that a time traveler gets to take with him are the things they were physically touching at the time of the Original Big Zap. So, not to be technical or anything, but shouldn't the outrigger have disappeared when the flash rescued the rowers from the shooters? Shouldn't all the rowers have ended up in the drink? Come on guys! We're only four episodes in and the Lawz are already springing leaks.



In Sawyer's words, time travel's a bitch. And then, apparently, you die.



The Mystery of the Nosebleeds deepened this episode. Charlotte bled half her bodyweight, but then managed to hop up and trek through the jungle, brain aneurysm and all. But then Miles got the runs.



And then Juliet.



Daniel, who gets fishier with each new time blip, first told Juliet that he believes the nosebleeds happen because the brain's internal clock gets confused. Mmm...ok? But then he told Miles the nosebleeds might be related to time spent on the Island, leading to lots of rampant speculation about why Charlotte and Miles, relatively new arrivals, are starting to bleed out quicker than old timers like Sawyer and Locke. Could it be, as hinted last year, that Charlotte has actually lived many years on the Island, perhaps having been born there? And could Miles indeed be the Chang baby we saw in the opening sequence of the series?



Seems a little like racial profiling to me, but it could be. This theory would also explain why Juliet would bleed before Locke or Sawyer. But then what explains the Minkowski dude on the freighter? What baby does he represent?



Are nosebleeds related to The Sickness that killed Danielle Rousseau's crew? And what about that old hippy, Horace Goodspeed? Can you even die of a time travel nosebleed when you're just making a cameo in someone else's dream? And even if you're already dead?



"Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them."

I've always wondered what explains the connection between rain and miscellaneous wonky happenings on Lost. Like when Walt appeared to Shannon.



Or when Harper appeared to Juliet.



When Richard Alpert visited little orphan Johnny, he mentioned it was coming down "cats and dogs". Not sure if there's any connection with our new time travel gymnastics, but it was raining again, hard, when time burped the crazed paddlers free of their attackers.



The rain washed in the weekly WTF. Actually it was a twofer this week. It was a WTF-F!



It seems that, in defiance of all the known - and also the unknown - laws of physics, Sun's husband did not get blown into teeny tiny Jin Bits after all. The sturdy fisherman not only withstood standing in the epicenter of a huge bomb, but he managed to propel himself out of the blast zone and in to the circle of time frizzle, where all the fun is happening. So Jin is in da house!



That's right. Wake up, Jin. Forget English. Now you gotta learn French! .



Jin was rescued by the once demure Danielle Rousseau, whose shipwreck on the Besixdouze we finally got to see. I'm told that her sailors were discussing a transmission that was being broadcast from the island and that The Numbers were heard coming over their radio, but to be honest, the main thing I noticed about her was how young she looked.



I guess 16 years on a tropical island without access to sunscreen will take its toll. But it was poignant to see the brave young girl, soon to be a mama, knowing as we do all that this merciless island paradise would put her and her baby through.



What did it mean that Danielle met Jin even though that never happened? Duh. It means it happened! Because whatever happened, happened. You see, that meet up was chronologically in Jin's past but sequentially in his future. Mmkay? You really don't need to be bugging out about this stuff, because it's all covered. Whatever happened, happened. Whenever it happened. Plus Danielle is dead now anyway. And Jin has a lot more to worry about than whether or not he represents a paradoxical aberration to the arbitrary parameters of a fantasy based theory system.



I realized while trying to recap it, that somehow this episode didn't come together for me. The shimmering scene of Sawyer lovestruck in Kate's presence was a classic Lost moment, and the flip flopping in time has become entertaining in a travelogue kind of way. But the O6 activity felt dull and draggy and seems to meander on next week, judging by the previews. With Lost, at least for those of us who've come this far, we always keep looking to see what might be happening that we're just not seeing yet. Out of all the possible references to The Little Prince, I think this is the one that best applies.



When the narrator, as a boy, tries to draw a boa constrictor who has eaten an elephant, all the grownups insist that he has drawn a hat. It's because they can't think outside of the box, can't see what is invisible to the eye. This episode, all I saw was a hat. I have to be honest. But I'm not going to stop looking. The drawing isn't finished yet. I'm sure I'll see the elephant inside the boa eventually. If not, it won't be for lack of trying.

13 comments:

LotteryTicket said...

from a very small fish in your fishbiscuitworld, thank you. as my son likes to point out, OCD really should be CDO (i hope you get that witty incite). I think they should have picked up the O6 story with them all together on a jet over the Indian Ocean and then told the LA stuff in flashbacks. O6 stuff is really awkward when compared to island time. Wonder if there is a point to this new storytelling angle? There is some suggestion at in blogland that Sawyer will not be affected, like Locke, with the nose bleed syndrome because he saw Kate. But the idea of a constant being salvation may not work with island hopping 'jet lag' effects. (Locke-Alpert, Daniel-Desmond, Sawyer-Kate).

Thinking about time and place/space. Is it possible that the island can be found in place/space closer to LA than we think? Just a thought. If Ben is going by boat (he didn't have them meet at an airport), then your Gilligan's Island's (OMG on the cut and paste) 3 hour tour could be a reality. What's Ben going to do? Give them coordinates and wave goodbye from the shore? And the weather is sure to start getting rough, the tiny ship will be tossed, and if not for the courage of the fearless crew the . . . (ok, it the name of the boat is the Minnow, I quit) would be LOST.

Anonymous said...

You are by far the best LOST re-capper on the internet. No one compares. And I am so appreciative of all the Little Prince insights and allusions. Quite remarkable on your part ... and the LOST writers'.

sheapaul said...

Fish, I always count down the days after each episode for you to post your reviews and I'm never disappointed. You always pick up on things the other reviewers don't and they're always things that make perfect sense. I was a little surprised you didn't have a sarcastic comment about Kate's line to Jack on the boat-"I have ALWAYS been with you". I was like, "WTF"??? Like I posted on another forum, the script should have read something like this-"I have ALWAYS been with you...oh, except for that time I stayed on the beach while you went to the caves. Oh, and then there was that time I followed you, Sawyer, and Locke on your search for Michael even after you told me I couldn't come. Oh, and except for the time I begged you to operate on Ben to save Sawyer's life and you had a little hissy fit. And then there was that time that I made love to Sawyer in a cage and later begged for his life. Oh, and I almost forgot about that time I hugged you ever so sweetly just to get my hands on that satellite phone, etc, etc". I could go on an on. The Jaters are having a field day over it but I noticed that your recap is completely insync with ABC's official recap in taking it as a "I'll lie for you if you'll lie for me" thing instead of having a major romantic connotation. Now it would have been believable if she had said a line like that to Sawyer. But saying it to Jack just came across as off to me. I've rewatched the Sawyer/Kate/Claire jungle scene several times on Youtube now and it never fails to bring a tear to my eye. O.K. ALOT of tears to my eyes. IMO, that's the most emotional scene of the whole series since Charlie died. Also, does anyone know if the highly anticipated/dreaded Jate kiss for which I had prepared myself for over a week really got cut (as is the rumour) or is it in an upcoming episode? I'd really just like to get it over with. They make me cringe together and I'm not real fond of the impending Sawyer/Juliet hook up that the media has been building up for months now. I just don't see the romantic chemistry there at all although I really like Elizabeth Mitchell.

Kate Ford said...

Great review as always Fish.I couldn'twait for it!

Obviously,you didn't say anything about Kate's line to Jack because there's nothing to say.

sheapaul said...

Whoa, Kate Ford, I certainly wasn't scolding Fish for not commenting on it. Fish is the best! It's just alot of other reviews are making a big deal about it and I was just putting my two cents in about why it SHOULDN'T be a big deal. I think I'll just skip other reviews from this point forward and wait for Fish's. (smile)

Crystal said...

Nicely done, Fish! I enjoyed that!

Terry_O_Locke said...

another wonderful recap. Fish is the best out there. But does he get punished for his dislike of Jate, Jack, and Kate? I don't care because I hate them too. I did like Kate at one time though. Once she couldn't keep the Naomi secret from Jack after knowing for 3 seconds she completely lost me and has been in a downward spiral ever since.

Susan said...

Fish, your reviews always make me laugh, sometimes they make me cry, and I usually learn something from them as well. This one had everything. I’m so glad you are doing them!

Anonymous said...

Horace bleeds because of the poison gas.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you do it, but every time I read you recaps it's like watching the episode again in a whole new light.

It's amazing how many references you catch on to. And thank you for critiquing the show when critique is due.

- Caprica

Anonymous said...

Totally LOVED your take on this episode Fishbiscuit. From The Little Prince references throughout, to your analysis of the loveliest scene in this ep (Sawyer witnessing Kate help with Aaron's birth), to questioning such things like the Ajira water bottle possibly representing the future at that time... to the ref to Jack and Kate as Rooster Hannigan and Lyly St. Regis, LOL and then bringing it all back to the TLP narrator's boa. What a good description for where this episode - and show - is at right now! If it's just a "hat", I'm sure we'll all be disappointed at this stage, but if it's a "boa", I'll be happy to discover what possibly could be inside it soon. ;)

Oh, and Ben makes a lovely Mrs Howell too, I have to say. Michael Emerson should look for a role if there's ever a Gilligan's Island re-make.

~ Midnight

Anonymous said...

I always love your recaps. As a point of interest, The Little Prince was originally a French story, Le Petit Prince - perhaps that's an underlying connection to Danielle or something, I don't know what.

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