Saturday, March 6, 2010

THE DARK SIDE


Shall we receive Good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive Evil? - Job 2:10
When Sayid woke up after being drowned to death in the dirtywater pool, he didn't seem any different than we've known and loved him to be all these years. He was the same coldblooded killer with the same impeccable manners and the same big soulful eyes. But this episode set us straight about what happened to him. He didn't come back as the same old Iraqi torturer with the ambiguously noble heart. He came back more like the way that Buffy came back. He came back wrong.


When someone has killed as many people, as gracefully and fluently as Sayid has, it's hard to pinpoint what made this week's killing spree somehow different. We've seen Sayid kill a lot of people, a lot of places. He's done a country club assassination.



A post coital bullet to the belly.



He shot a hole into the heart of an innocent kid.



Killing is Sayid's gift.


But he mostly felt really bad about it. His big brown eyes got all sad. Sometimes he even cried.


This Sayid was different. When Ben discovered him by the side of the bubbling sulfur pit where he killed Dogen and his hippie friend, he looked like a wild animal that has just ripped someone's intestines out with his bare teeth. He looked like he'd been interrupted in his feasting on a still steaming corpse. This Sayid isn't conflicted about the killing he just did. He enjoyed it.

" A belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness." - Joseph Conrad
Now, I've got to preface this recap by stating outright that I haven't got the faintest idea what is going on with LOST this season.


I don't know why they introduced the Temple only to ravage it a few episodes in or why the Temple was guarded by a 20th century businessman who chose to dress like a medieval samurai (Halloween costume maybe?) or where all these people were a few short days ago when the Smoke Monster was haunting Ben in the Temple basement, since they've made a rather large point out of the fact that, until this episode, the Smoke Monster couldn't get into the Temple.


I'm a little nervous to keep picking apart clues now that we know that Kate's name was in fact on the ceiling, but an editor dropped it on the cutting room floor, and the date on Aaron's sonogram was an error, and I'm going to guess, Sayid's Iranian passport in LA X was just a prop mistake.


This whole thing isn't feeling exactly airtight these days. But I guess that's ok. I can deal with a little human error and lapses in common sense, so long as they get the big things right. And I don't think anything is much bigger than the theme of Blackness and Whiteness, and where the LOST story is going to come down on the ancient questions of Good and Evil. What I'm starting to wonder is if we're going to get an intelligent exploration of the human dilemma or if the whole thing is about to descend into a morally simplistic comic book farce.


That's the thing that's got me just a little bit nervous.

I've always found it remarkable how LOST, at least until now, has avoided the trap of moral absolutism. LOST has been a show where we can watch a man like Sayid terrorize, betray and butcher his fellow human beings ... but we can still love him and want to see him happy.


After this week, however, I think we can safely say that for Sayid, a happy ending ain't happening. It took a long time coming, but Judgment Day is nigh. And I don't think Sayid is going to be the only one who will have to answer to his Maker.


LOST's Season One finale was a beautiful episode called Exodus. I watched it and reviewed it just recently, as a matter of fact. In that episode the Island child was given the name of Aaron, the brother to Moses - the great Hero who led the Chosen People to the Promised Land, with the help of a column of Holy Smoke.


It was an episode that plunged us into the dark, scary hellfire and brimstone of the Biblical Old Testament - literature's first great horror story. In the Bible, the Lord God established his dominion over mankind by smacking the shit out of them at every opportunity, or by having his Candidates do it. He helped murder little boys for making fun of Elisha's bald head, he helped David rip off 200 Philistine foreskins so he could buy himself a wife, he helped Samson slay thousands with just the jawbone of a donkey. The Old Testament Lord was a badass, mean-ass monster and he seemed to thoroughly condone mass murder, so long as it was being done in his name. It was, like LOST, a story where Good and Evil kept getting called out as if they were opposites, but one where most of the time, the difference between them is entirely unclear.


In Sundown, Evil and Good have retreated to their mutually exclusive corners. The office machine Dogen kept in his inner sanctum was a custom model Evil-o-Meter, designed to probe a person and pass judgment on their pH balance of moral righteousness. As guessed, this medieval contraption had previously diagnosed Sayid as a bona fide Evil Being, causing Dogen to want to do the right thing and make him dead.


It was nothing personal, just part of Dogen's job description. He was placed on the Island to hold the scales in balance, and luckily for him, he's got a handy dandy machine that makes moral determinism as simple a matter as flipping a switch and watching to see where the needle lands.



On his righteous right hand, Dogen wears a gleaming silver bracelet. On his sinstre, or wicked, hand, he wears a fingerless black glove.


It's a little disconcerting how simple this has suddenly all become. What are they telling us? Black is bad and white is right? Seriously?


Sayid defends himself against the verdict of the Evil-o-Meter by saying that neither man nor machine can tell what "kind of man" he is. So what kind of man is he? Using our new parallel story world to compare and contrast, we get to ask another question as well: what kind of a man is OtherSayid?


In any reality, Sayid is the kind of man who loves Nadia.


According to Omer, he's the kind of little brother who he still counts on to choke his chickens for him.


And although he claims otherwise, although Nadia does what she can to persuade him away from violence, OtherSayid is still the kind of man who kills with ease.



Of course, when it's Keamy's insipid mug that's getting waxed, it's hard to pass judgment on Sayid. It's not as if killing Keamy can ever be a bad thing. There's just something satisfying about watching that gigantic Gary Busey/Chris Walken love child bite the big one.


OtherSayid's story is different from the OtherStories that we've watched in recent weeks. He didn't contemplate his reflection in a clear mirror, as his friends had done. Instead, there was only a passing glance of his distorted image captured unexpectedly in Nadia's front door glass.


OtherSayid was an interrogator for the Revolutionary Guard, just like Original Sayid. He was still fearsome and violent. Still a passionate lover separated from the one he loves. There were no radical departures from his story as we knew it, except of course that he'd apparently manipulated Nadia into becoming the wife of his brother, and it's unclear if the two had ever bonded in a torture cell, the way we'd seen them do. Unlike the previous Other-flashes, Sayid's story seems much the same. He is still an assassin. He doesn't rise above. He doesn't conquer his demons. He doesn't solve his problems. We can tell that OtherLOST isn't going to be merely a mirror story of redemption, because there isn't any redemption there for Sayid.


The mirror parallels weren't as strong this week. The pattern of symmetrical character centrics was broken. This episode was called Sundown, which mirrors the name of its Season One counterpart - House of the Rising Sun - but it was Sayid's episode, not Sun's. However, symmetry was not completely abandoned.


Just as Ben Linus had helped create a massacre in Dharmatown, his life partner in contract murder, Sayid, helped create one in this episode.


And when Ben came to find Sayid by the bubbling pool, it was a revelation to him just how completely Evil had claimed his once and future assassin.


Evil was the theme of the week. Dogen tells Sayid that the Man in the Monster is "evil incarnate". Then he sends Sayid out to kill the Evil Thing. Many seem to believe that Dogen was lying to Sayid, that he really intended for the Thing to kill Sayid. Maybe he was hedging his bets, and hoping that whatever happened, at least one of his problems would go away.


If that's what he was doing, then he guessed wrong. Sayid used the Magic Dagger and tried to stab the beast, but the Monster is not like his whiteshirted brother. He's a perfect impersonator, a mirage of a human being. He may have real feelings, but unlike Jacob, if you stab a Smoke Monster, he does not in fact bleed.


He also does not kill Sayid. He's not even that angry about being attacked. Instead, he benevolently offers to give Sayid whatever his poor tortured heart may desire. If you stay on his good side, it seems like the Monster can be quite a kindly friend.


Sayid is convinced in a flash to jump over and join up with Old Smokey and he kicks off the kill party with some coldblooded retribution killing in the same pool he was himself murdered in.


"And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." - Deuteronomy 19:21
As the episode ends, the army of the Monster has grown manyfold, and we watch as the Evil Undead leads his flock back into the jungle. It was one of the best endings of any LOST episode ever. Eerie, creepy and strangely beautiful.


Watching the characters step over the dismembered bodies, watching them walk in a slow motion ballet towards their leader, all to the tune of a dirgelike version of Catch a Falling Star ... it was breathtaking. I rewound it and watched it five times.

Unhappy spirits that fell with Lucifer,
Conspir’d against our God with Lucifer,
And are for ever damn’d with Lucifer.
- Marlowe, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
The song, Catch a Falling Star, is not idly chosen.


We know it as the song that Claire's absentee father used to sing to her on his visits to her as a baby, as the song Aaron's airplane mobile chirped out in the cradle that had been prepared for him, the song Claire wanted his future mommy to sing to him, the song Kate did sing to him. It's Aaron's song and Claire's song. But hearing it echoed in such a mournful style called to mind something else.


In Isaiah 14:12, there is this passage: 
"How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! " Lucifer, the word for "morning star", was the first damned angel that fell from Heaven. Biblical scholars will argue whether Lucifer is Satan, or the Devil, or just the most prideful angel thrust out of Heaven by the Lord, but the core concept here is that Lucifer is a baddie. That's not in dispute. And the version of Catch a Falling Star that played at the end of this episode sounded a whole lot like a hymn of praise to the Lord of the LOST Underworld, Mr. NotJohnLocke, the Smoke Monster.


The question we're being forced to deal with on LOST now is this: If the Monster is indeed an evil, vile thing, if he's really "evil incarnate", then what does that make Jacob? We can't really call the Monster Evil if there isn't some counterpart moral entity that represents Good, can we? Evil isn't Evil unless it's defined in terms of its Other. So, is Jacob all that is Good?


Let's review. Jacob has been using a lighthouse to seek out Candidates, in order that he may manipulate them, each one individually, to emigrate to his hellhole of an Island home. He does this in order that he may use them in some fashion, to do some thing that we still don't understand, and that none of them understand either. He does this knowing that his bloody brother will in all likelihood recruit them, and that their odds of survival are approximately 1 in 360, and that they are far more likely to end up as a smoking corpse than they are to ever see their loved ones again. So, the first question is: How can someone like him be a Good Guy?


Jacob, as we know, wears white. His Monster friend wears black. That brings us back to LOST's earliest metaphor, the simplest symbolism known to man.


Jacob seeks his candidates with a lighthouse, a bright place that ascends to the sky.


The Monster keeps track of his recruits on the walls of a dark cave, an underworld that one descends to on ladders.


When Kate finally discovers her long lost friend, Claire, the poor girl is babbling to herself in the bottom of the snakepit.


Kate is thrown down into the pit by the arrival of the Smoke Monster.


It parallels the way Sawyer's ladder broke loose and thrust him down into the Smoke Monster's cave.


Claire, we now know, is a devoted acolyte of the Monster. But Kate knows none of this. She is overjoyed to see her longlost friend.


She has no freaking clue that the girl she has heroically devoted herself to saving is now a murderous lunatic. In her blissful ignorance, Kate seals her fate with Claire, by confirming that she did in fact "take" Aaron. It's possible a more judicious word choice might have helped matters, but then again, given Claire's state of mind, it probably wouldn't have made any difference.


Kate is so screwed.


Claire's alliance with the Monster does not appear to be a healthy relationship. The first appearance of this pair outside the Temple made them look like two jackals sizing up their prey.



Claire has been claimed, infected, whatever. So has Sayid. Who claimed them? Who infected them? If it was the Monster, why did it happen in Jacob's Temple? Because it is Jacob's Temple, right? I think they've implied as much. The Monster was being kept out by the circle of ash. Or by Dogen's existence. Or by a combination of ash and Dogen's existence. Does anybody really understand this?


Once Dogen was dead, and Sundown arrived, the Monster was free to penetrate the Temple walls and go wilding.


He killed anyone who hadn't taken him up on his generous offer to join him or die. Kate, by hiding in the pit with Claire, was spared. Or maybe she was spared because she was a Candidate. Only I can't tell if she's still a Candidate since her name wasn't shown on the wall and her Jacob touch wasn't revisited when Smokey explained the cave to Sawyer. Is she a Candidate but not a Recruit? Is she as confused as the rest of us?


I don't know, but I was happy to see that she remembered to snag a rifle before she joined the pod people. I have a feeling she's gonna need that.


What plans does the Monster have for Kate?


He looked her up and down and seemed to be sizing her up very carefully when she came out of the temple, looking dazed and confused.


This group is headed back to wherever Jin and, most intriguingly, Sawyer, are being kept on ice. How the Monster makes use of having Sawyer and Kate together in his camp is a plotline I'm down with. Bring it on, and while you're at it ... please don't keep Sawyer offscreen for two episodes in a row ever again, mkay? Thx.


Like everyone else, I'm trying to understand the symbiosis between Jacob and his Monsterly twin. It reminds me of how, in the Old Testament, Yahweh and Satan often passed their time by rolling dice with the lives of human beings.


It started with Adam and Eve, when God gave Satan carte blanche to try and tempt them to do wrong, and ended up getting them banished forever from paradise. It continued with the story of Job, where Satan asked God to make a little wager and see if it would be possible to turn the heart of the world's most righteous and God fearing man, a prosperous and contented dude named Job. God thought it might be fun to watch the Devil toy with one of his human playthings, so he told Satan "Behold, all that he hath is in thy power." Got that? God, the "Good guy" in the Bible, voluntarily unleashed Satan and all his unspeakable Evil upon a perfectly innocent person. For a test.


Job passed the test. Even though all his oxen and his asses and his sheep and his servants and his sons and even his camels were brutally taken from him, even though he got covered in sore boils and had to sit in his filth scraping off the scabs with a broken potshard, Job remained faithful to the Lord and praised him nonetheless. Job was clearly not a Man of Science. He was the ultimate Man of Faith. And in the Bible, in the Old Testament, that is all that God wanted from his human toys. He was the Puppet Master. Theirs was not to question why, theirs was just to do and die ... and not to bitch about it.


It's a kind of "morality" that makes no sense to our ultra civilized psyches, but it's the kind of morality I think we may be seeing on LOST in this grand finale season. Like Yahweh and Satan, Jacob and the Monster are running a battery of tests on their candidate-recruits. And the test appears to start with a Choice. Or at least the pretense of a choice. When Sayid re-enters the Temple after meeting with the Monster, he offers the inhabitants there a Morton's Fork of a choice. They can either stay in the Temple and be slaughtered, or they can leave and join up with the Monster who would gladly slaughter them. Most choose to leave, some stay and die.


Now, Sayid himself is acting on the basis of the choice the Monster has offered to him. The Monster is forthright with Sayid. He offers him the simplest and most desirable thing of all. He offers him "whatever your heart desires". Really, you can't beat an offer like that. What Sayid's heart desires is that Nadia should live.


It raises an interesting point. We have seen that in OtherLOST, in fact, Nadia is alive. Sayid can see her, he can talk to her, he can care for her children.


But he can never have her, ever.


On one level, it looks like Sayid is punishing himself, as he tells Nadia, because a bad man like him does not deserve the love of such a good woman. But on a different level, is it possible that the Sayid we are watching in OtherLOST is the Sayid who is living out the bargain he made with the Monster? Is it possible we have glimpsed the meaning of the parallel universe? Is everything we're seeing in OtherLOST the result of the bargains and the deals that the characters have made, or will make, with the God and the Satan of LOST Island? It's a new possibility.


Making deals with the devil is another time honored tale. The most famous such deal was made by Dr. Faustus, when he was tempted by Mephistopheles to sacrifice his immortal soul if only his dearest wish might be granted.


In the original medieval version of the story, Faustus ends up being torn apart when it's time for his soul to be claimed. It's a gruesome story where his brains and guts end up splattered about his library and his twitching limbs thrown upon a manure pile. It was intended as a cautionary tale warning against anyone ever thinking that there might be some kind of upside in dealing with the dark side.


But on LOST, it's not only the devil who is making deals. Jacob is double dealing as well. He has offered Dogen his own kind of Faustian bargain.


In return for the life of his son, Dogen had to come to Craphole Island, dress up in a samurai suit, and guard Jacob's temple against the ravenous beast. He would never see his beloved child again. That was the price and the penalty for driving drunk and getting his boy almost killed.


We've seen the same kind of bargain given to Juliet in Season Three, although as always with Juliet, it's hard to see what she did to deserve such cruelty.


Having been recruited by Jacob's emissaries (I think), Juliet found herself stranded on this cursed Island. She begged to go home, but she was offered a deal instead. Her sister could be cured of her cancer, her nephew could be born healthy and whole ... but Juliet herself could never be there to see them. This kind of bittersweet win/lose type of deal seems hardwired into the mechanics of how the Island gods operate. Even Dharma offered a blissful new life to its damaged recruits, in return for their being isolated from the world and those they loved.


Is there a difference between the deals that Jacob offers versus those offered by his opposite? I've read some intrepid theorists out there trying to find the distinction. Perhaps Jacob offers his candidates the kind of choice that allows them to somehow do right and improve their circumstances. Perhaps the Monster only offers his recruits the kind of choices that perpetuate the cycle of misery for them and those they love. Perhaps the Monster exploits weaknesses, while Jacob tests strength of character. Perhaps. But I wonder.

"And oftentimes to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths; win us with honest trifles, to betray's in deepest consequence." - Shakespeare, Macbeth
We know that Jacob is a manipulative bastard, but how far will he go? Was Jacob the architect of the infamous Wishing Box that brought Anthony Cooper to the Island to be killed? Did he give Juliet's sister cancer just so he could manipulate her to come to the Island? Did he plan for Dogen's son to be nearly killed, just so he could manipulate his father by saving him? When did he start manipulating his candidates? Is he the reason Hurley won the lottery, the reason Christian Shephard came to Sydney to drink himself to death, the reason Sawyer killed the Shrimp Guy? Just how deep does Jacob have his claws into these people anyway? And why didn't he help Dogen, who had faithfully carried out his will? Not to keep beating the same drum, but how can such a creature ever be called "Good"?


What's more, if Jacob isn't Good, then how can the Monster be Bad? The Monster talks of freedom. Jacob's manipulations have stolen the Free Will of his candidates, and the Monster seems to think he's restoring that. Of course, his choices aren't any less manipulative, and to make matters worse, he's a bloodthirsty animal who seems to exult in mayhem and chaos.


Whatever we think of Jacob, at least he doesn't seem to be in the business of disemboweling innocent redshirts. Are we dealing here with two competing evils, where Jacob is just the lesser one? Are these two guys basically Worse and Worser?


In the story of Faustus, the doctor is tempted to the dark side by being offered his heart's desire, just like Sayid was. For him his deepest wish was to have more Knowledge than anyone else in the world. To the medieval Christian mindset, apparently, it made sense that Knowledge was an evil thing. In the Bible, Satan engineers the destruction of Adam and Eve the same way - he tempts them with knowledge. Interestingly, we see the same pattern emerging on LOST.


When Sayid goes into the jungle to confront the Monster, the first thing he says is that he wants - you guessed it - Answers! Not that he gets any, and he's easily persuaded to want something else, but that's what he asks for at first. When the Monster tempted Sawyer he did not offer to bring Juliet back, as he offered Nadia to Sayid. Apparently that is not Sawyer's deepest desire. Apparently the one thing that Sawyer really wants is ... Knowledge.


And the reason Jack goes ballistic on Jacob's mirrors is because he's so enraged that Jacob won't tell him what the hell is going on.


The quest for Knowledge does not seem like an Evil to us. We think of it as a good thing. But maybe that's why we're all so confused. Maybe the root of all evil, at least in the mind of LOST's writers, is the search for Answers. Maybe they want us to shut up and stop begging them for ANSAS!

Perhaps the Old Testament mimicry goes deeper than we suspect. Maybe everyone who wants answers is going to end up with some kind of hellfire and brimstone punishment. Could it be? Is that what's going on here? Is that why this show gets more confusing every week, the closer we get to the end?


Who actually claimed Sayid? The Temple folk were genuinely surprised at his resurrection. How did Jacob's Temple create a new disciple for the Monster?


Did Dogen think the Monster would kill Sayid? Does Dogen know the Monster can't kill Candidates?


Who are all these redshirts that have been living in the Temple? And this Cindy chick with the children. It's been years now. Is there ever going to be a reason for them to be here?


Why did we see Jack Shephard at the hospital where Sayid's brother was taken? Was that just to inform us that Omer lives in the same L.A. neighborhood as St. Sebastian Hospital, or was that a way for Matthew Fox to get his quarter mil per episode payday?


And speaking of paydays, how sad is it to see the wonderful Yunjin Kim still being reduced to just one sad "Jin?" per appearance? Didn't this character used to have a storyline?


And how about Jin showing up in Keamy's restaurant? Random!


Where did Ilana and the rest of her Scooby Gang escape to when they pushed through the Stargate magic portal? I hope it's someplace cool!


Why did Kate go back to the Temple? Didn't she just say she wasn't going to do that?


What did Kate see in the Smoke that howled above her when she was in the pit?


Did she look into the eye of the Island the way Locke did in Season One? Did she also find it "beautiful"? Has she been turned as well or is she just in shock?


When NotLocke and Claire, exchange little smiles and nods at the end of the episode, is that Monster code-speak for "yes, you can kill her now"?


Did Jacob put something in the water last week when we saw him crouching there?


Does that mean Dogen won't be claimed? Did Jacob just get tired of Dogen and decide to let him die because he didn't need him anymore?


Why didn't Dogen throw Sayid into the same pit where he threw Claire, since he knows both are similarly tainted? Better yet, why didn't he just kill the Evil Thing when he had the chance?


Given Sayid's decisive move towards the dark side in this episode, should we be revisiting the clues perhaps contained in the pre-season Last Supper picture, where Sayid occupied the traitor's spot?


It's interesting to see that all the original Losties to Locke's right in the picture - Claire, Sayid, Sawyer and Kate - are all now in the camp of NotJohnLocke. Does this mean Jin is the only one who can still hope to be saved?



Maybe we should stop trying to figure out the answers. Maybe we should just enjoy the ride, because whatever quibbles one might have with the story, an episode like this one is first class entertainment. There's nothing else like it on TV and maybe there never will be again. It's just that I didn't even realize until I started to write this recap, that in all the years of watching this show, I've never been more LOST than I am right now.


The cards are being reshuffled, the players are moving again around the board. All we can do is come back next week and see what game they feel like playing with us then.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Such a great recap fishbiscuit. I think we need to wait until the show is finished to try to make complete sense of everything that we see on screen. Of course, this makes it kind of tough for recappers like you, but you still do a great recap anyways, even when you are confused!

I don't think black and white are going to be reflections of "good" and "evil" in the sense of morality, I think it will be more like two different world views in conflict. Neither will be necessarily complete right or wrong, just different.

Charlotte K said...

It's a story, and the tellers will tell it the way they want. I think they will wrap it up though. They seem like they are having a ball with the mystification anew of their fans. In a way they are reminding us that is THEIR story.

Maybe next week we'll see the missing folks outside the temple before this week's destruction. There could be many reasons Kate came back, depends on who she ran into while out in the woods. Maybe we haven't seen Richard because he ran into Hurley & Jack and something happened with them. Where's Ben now that Ilana et al. have headed out the same secret passageway Hurley & Jack did? Is Dogen really dead there in the magic pool? (Don't care about Lennon, what a drag). Will Ben know how to make use of what's left of the temple to fix some things?

I'm wondering about the Last Supper pix also. I am mostly wondering if everyone on the left hand of Locke is destined to die and those on the right will survive? That's basically how it works on Christian judgment day, I think. I don't see Ilana and Richard going over to the Smoke Monster anytime soon but they could be real dead, anyway (dont care about Ilana but Richard, how sad). And then it makes me feel encouraged to see Jin & Sun on the same side of the picture. But oh so sad that Sawyer's on the left....

On the other hand they could just be yanking our chains like they did with Sundown as an episode title. What, no Sun???

Anonymous said...

Uh, Sawyer's on the right hand. And in the Bible that's not how it works. The most important people are all on the right.

jamesF said...

Excellent recap, I love the way you invite us, the readers to ponder the questions which you have put forth. It's much better than you just putting forth your theories as statements. I enjoy how you've pulled the Jacob character apart. The MiB may be a mass murdering maniac, but Jacob is a manipulative douche as well. I'm not familiar with the writings of the Old Testament, but your points are very well conveyed and I'll trust you on them.

I'd also like to invite you to check out Islam's take on the Last Judgment. (link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qiyamah).

The most interesting part is this :
Smoke will appear all over the earth that will cause believers to catch something similar to the common cold, whereas disbelivers will be hit harder by it. Finally, a cool wind will cause all the believers to die. This leaves all the unbelievers left on earth to experience the last hour of the day of judgment.

I swear I'm not making it up.

Also, it's the second recap which has 'dark' in the title. Coincidence?

Charlotte K said...

Hi Anonymous, you're right. I was looking literally at the right/left, though. I still think the people on the left side (not hand) are doomed!

Anonymous said...

There's a child in that cap of Cindy that can't be Zach or Emma. So much for the pregnancy problem!

Sorry, not even a Fishbiscuit recap can reclaim the pile of nonsense that was this episode. On first viewing, the performances of Naveen Andrews and Terry O'Quinn (is he having a great time or what?) masked the weaknesses, but it doesn't stand up under close scrutiny. And if Lost comes down to a straight-up battle over Good v. Evil...yawn.

Anonymous said...

Incredible recap. Thank you so much. And I also have been watching the last scene over and over.

Quirky Character said...

>> In return for the life of his son, Dogen had to come to Craphole Island, dress up in a samurai suit, and guard Jacob's temple against the ravenous beast. He would never see his beloved child again. That was the price and the penalty for driving drunk and getting his boy almost killed.

Yes, exactly. I guess, it was still better for Dogen to get a cushy job on the Island and have his son cured rather than see his son die and see himself go to jail for manslaughter aggravated by DUI. (I don't know about Japan, but in my country he would have gotten like 7 to 10 yrs in jail for both crimes.) I believe before long Dogen would have committed suicide feeling the guilt for killing his own son. So, how's that deal bad or devilish? I just don't get all the fuss that's being made, "Whoa, Jacob's a manipulative bastard." I know, I'm dumb...

Kyle from Kentucky said...

Awesome as always!

Here's your quarter mil....jackass. Exactly.

Tracey said...

About the smoke monster and the temple. I think we've already established that he can roam the outer precincts cellars, haven't we? We saw him there in the young Rousseau episode, in the Ben and "Alex" episode etc, but that isn't the temple proper.

Also - surely a major comfort to those who are worried about it going all black and white should be that Jacob convinced Hurley to take Sayid to the temple pool in the first place. So if Sayid has gone postal on us, then surely this is at least partly due to Jacob's doing. Also when Jacob revisited Hurley and had a quick hand-splash in the pool, he didn't take the opportunity to say, "Oh by the way, better kill Sayid 'cos he's gone all evil now". Obviously it's not Lost's style to make the characters clarify anything, but presumably Jacob was quite happy that Sayid had gone over to the dark side, as he took no action to deal with it through Hurley.

Karyn said...

Love your recaps Fishbiscuit -- very thought-provoking, and well laid-out. Perhaps we should all be like Rose and Bernard and just stop engaging in the fight. In this case, the fight to understand what the hell is going on. Instead we should just sit back and enjoy the ride, trusting that Darlton will give us a good finish, worthy of the ride we've been on.

Anonymous said...

As always, you do it best Fishbiscuit. I'm only going to sound foolish if I say anymore about your review other than it's as insightful, funny and entertaining as ever.

- Midnight

Anonymous said...

Great recap fishbiscuit. I totally agree with Tracy and have been thinking this all along about Sayid.

Tracy, I agree totally with you that Jacob was happy that Sayid went over to the dark side and also planned it.
You are the first person I have read that has even mentioned it.. In fact, I have been thinking that all along, why is Jacob taking such an interest in Sayid?? .

At first at the end of last year I thought he wanted to use Sayid’s abilities to help him fight the man in black.. But we now know that is wrong.

He knew Sayid would be shot and brought back in time. He knew the water was tainted when he told Hurley to take Sayid to the pool, he knew about the demise of the temple when he warned Hurley he couldn't go back..
It was his idea to have llana in charge of Sayid and to bring him back to the island.. And if you noticed during Sundown when llana pushed the door at the temple and saw Miles her first words “Where is Jarrah.” So she knows why he is so important. Even though we see him going to the dark side, Jacob is still using him to get what he wants done. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

As a spiritual teacher once told me after I'd asked one too many questions

"Some questions don't have an answer - they are sacred mysteries. . . We aren't meant to know their answers."

I think what's keeping us all lost is trying to view what's happening through western "Dualistic Thinking" - Good and Evil, Black and White.

We need to view things from a more Eastern viewpoint - Jacob and the Smoke Monster are TWO SIDES of the SAME COIN. That is, they are the Yin and Yang of the Island. One can't exist without the other.

When you look at the actions of Jacob and Smokey through a NON-DUALISTIC lens things become clear. Jacob and Smokey are most likely manifestations of one single God/creator we have yet to meet . . .

Anonymous said...

NON-DUALISTIC lens
Available at your Local Wal-Mart
Only $8.99

Chris said...

I take my hat off to you - you had me duped.

I thought "finally, FBL has joined the rest of us in the land of the Lost" but then you pull it out of your proverbial, and provide one of the best recaps I've ever read.

A great success. You are, as ever, the best, and I bow down.

finallylost said...

Hey I found your blog from Chris' write up on you. Great write up and I'm glad to see we hit on many of the same themes.

p.s. I love the use of "gift" and scooby gang, you must be a Buffy fan huh? Another great show

Anonymous said...

http://www.northjersey.com/arts_entertainment/87094332__Lost__producer_co-creator_talks_about_bringing_the_series_to_a_close.html?c=y&page=2

The skaters and the jaters might hate it, but the eternally confused might finally find a light at the end of the tunnel.

BOO-YA!!

Michael said...

Love the depth of these recaps - thanks so much for all of the time/research! Awesome!

In thinking about Dogen's baseball . . . how many stitches on a baseball? 108. :)

And I don't know the Dogen wears a black glove as much as it is a bandage from when he cut his hand and dipped it in the pool to see if it would heal.

Thanks again - looking forward to reading more!

Chris said...

You blew me away with this one... just felt I had to repeat that, having seen Dr Linus, I can't wait to see what you make of it.

In case you (or your readers) haven't seen the epi yet, I'll keep it vague... Ben's speech to Ilana about loss, sacrifice, Jacob... the whole time I was thinking about your recent write-ups, the Biblical significance, faith, sacrifice, all of it...

I just hope I can spread the word about your blog enough - you are an amazing recapper.

Thanks again :)

- Chris

Kyle from Kentucky said...

Fish. We just had another Sawyerless episode. what are we going to do about this

Anonymous said...

you can always bitch and moan, kyle, but you can do jack shit about it, cuz guess what? you're not writing the fucking show. dumb ass!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome recap Fishbastid!

Fishbasket! ... Sorry!

Seriously.. thx.

Chris said...

Who invited anonymous? :P party-pooper.

Erased said...

I hate to take exception, but compare the Last Supper and the Lost supper again, I believe you will see that Sayid is in Peter's position, and Kate is in the position of the traitor, Judas. In the painting, Peter leans into John holding a knife. The knife we used to cut off the soldiers ear, similar to the one he used to try and kill the monster.

For a moment Peter betrayed Jesus by denying him, so I do not believe that this turn to the dark side will be permanent. Beware of Kate. The only one so far that does not seem to have changed in the sideways reality.

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