Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lost, Season 6, Episode 5

6.5: Lighthouse

--Now THAT’S more like it! I’m apparently the only person on the planet who wasn’t totally crazy over last week’s let’s-all-feel-sorry-for-Locke ep. And while I normally don’t care much about let’s-all-feel-sorry-for-Jack storylines, this one felt pretty satisfying in its development and execution. Parts of it were funny (thanks, Hurley!), parts were fucking terrifying (HOLY SHIT, CLAIRE), and it felt like a successful single-short story while still being plugged into the main mythology. Boo yah! Let’s continue.

--So, yeah, Jack. Frustrated and confused in the wake of his father’s body’s disappearance, Timeline LAX Jack suddenly had to play daddy himself, and not figuratively. Yes, this version of Jack had a son, David, who is now a borderline-autistic little mini-vampire who makes Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain look like Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. Jack wanted to bond with his vampire son. Jack tried to bond with his vampire son. And Jack finally did bond with his vampire son, after that old clichéd scene, the Parent Who Walks In On His Kid’s Recital At the Last Second. Awwww, little vampire David is a prodigy! And here’s Sideways Dogen to offer a little fortune-cookie tidbit about letting your kid go! Okay, so, maybe there was nary a speck of originality in Jack’s flash-sideways, but at least it ended on a happy note and neatly paralleled the Timeline ANKH jungle boogie. And things even stayed slightly spooky, thanks to Jack’s uncertainty about his appendix and Claire’s name popping up in Christian’s will!

--Speaking of Claire.....HOLY SHIT ON A BARBECUE. I was praying for a creepy, ruthless, survivalist Claire and the show delivered and then some! Poor Jin found himself a semi-willing guest of the formerly guileless little Aussie as she waffled between charm, bloodymindedness, and complete, screaming, raving psychosis. Claire thinks the Others have Aaron, and she’s willing to do just about anything to get him back, including take an axe to poor Justin, who survived being shot only to suffer an even worse fate. Lord, at the rate our “heroes” mow through Others, how can there be any left at all? Jin tried to tell the truth, then immediately realized that he’d rather not be HORRIBLY MURDERED TO DEATH and confirmed that the Others had Aaron. Which means the Temple is fucked, or did you not notice those conspicuous boxes of Black Rock TNT? Aaaaaand Sun should be arriving at the Temple any minute now! Nice one, JIN.

--Creepy Ghost Jacob obviously has plenty of time on his hands, because the dude’s just on poor Hurley all the time! I’m wondering if Hurley’s gonna snap and stop being Jacob’s errand boy. Let Miles do it! Make him swallow some of Jacob’s ashes and he’ll hear the guy’s soft, soothing voice all the time! But, nope, it was Hurley who got tasked with the job of hauling Jack through the jungle to yet another date with destiny or something. On the way, they awesomely stopped at the Caves (whoa! Haven’t seen those since, when, early Season Two? Remember when building an aqueduct was the castaways’ most pressing concern? Innocent times, innocent times) and ogled the legendary Adam & Eve skeletons. Hurley nervously pointed out that the corpses could be time-unstuck Lostaways. Way to address the major fan theory, show, but is it true or not?

--Redundant Kate cameo: check.

--Have I mentioned how much I love PsychoClaire? Watching her dunk painful-looking metal implements in boiling water was just great. So was her messed-up, demonic effigy baby. She is terrifying and adorable, and I REALLY hope Kate waltzes into the Claire Lair and happily says, “Good news, Claire! I’ve been raising your kid as my own these past three years! No need to thank m....uh, wait, what are you doing with that....OH SHI--” Wouldn’t that be awesome? Well, I think so.

--Right, right Hurley and Jack. They arrived at the Lighthouse, and Jack actually commented on odd it is that no one’s seen it before, which was hilarious and intriguing. ’Twas an old-school affair, nothing but big mirrors that could be rotated around a giant pedestal. And on the pedestal....what else? Lots of names, most crossed out, each relating to one degree. (I spotted “Rousseau,” but no other familiar ones.) Hurley was set to turn the mirror to 108 degrees so Jacob’s mysterious “someone” could find the Island, but when it got to 23 degrees (“Shepherd”), Jack saw his childhood home in the mirror and realized the Jacob had been magically spying on him all this time. Enraged, he smashed the mirrors. But it was all part of Jacob’s plan to make Jack realize how important he is. Is it just me or does Jacob seem very slightly sinister right now? What’s his ultimate agenda, and is there really someone he’s trying to draw to the Island? Desmond maybe, or Widmore, or both?

--Spooky as Jacob is, he’s still not as spooky as UnLocke, Claire’s new best friend, who popped his head into the Claire Lair to beam malevolently while Jin made his usual “OH SHIT” face. Yup, doesn’t bode well for the Temple. Oooohhh, I can’t wait to see lots of explosions and stuff! Jack will make so many funny faces when he learns everyone’s dead! Squeeee! I’m full of puppies and rainbows, just like Claire!

--Hurley-related things that made me laugh merrily: Him writing Jacob’s instructions on his arm. His pained look after scaling the Lighthouse. Ghetto tic-tac-toe with Miles. And the lines, “I just lied to a Samurai,” and, “Jack just broke your lighthouse, dude!” For these things alone, I give the episode high marks. Long may Hurley reign.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lost, Season 6, Episode 4

6.4: The Substitute

--I’m getting more and more into this whole alternate timeline thing, and you know why? Same reason alternate timeline stories are so popular in comics: because it gives the writers the chance to gleefully fuck around with their beloved characters! I can just picture the Lost writers giggling maniacally as they sit around a boardroom table somewhere, high on Red Bull and SweeTarts, turning Hurley into a charismatic mogul and Rose into a smooth PR gal and Ethan into Doctor McHappySmiley and so forth. Seriously, I’m looking forward to the Timeline LAX shenanigans almost more than the actual relevant stuff! Good thing, ’cause this week’s sideways tale wasn’t quite as relevant as some.

--I guess my problem is that Locke is freakin’ DEAD. He’s DEAD, people. They just BURIED him. Kinda hard to come back from shit like that. As a result, it’s hard to take Sideways Locke too seriously. I mean, yeah, it was poignant and ironic that Sideways Locke accepts his wheelchair-bound lot in life and chooses his beloved Helen over being an overcompensating badass, but still. Dude’s dead. And any what-ifs involving him seem meaningless as a result. Bah.

--Yes, I much preferred UnLocke, because he’s turning into one cool villain. This ep saw the Nemesis (as I suppose I should call him) beginning a chilling campaign of manipulation -- “recruiting,” as Ilana grimly put it -- and when a hilariously bug-eyed Alpert failed to take the bait, UnLocke turned his gaze on the one local dude who’s currently very easy to mold like putty, Sawyer. I think the whole UnLocke/Sawyer business was meant to parallel the Locke/Sawyer jaunt from Season Three, when Locke coerced Sawyer into murdering his (Locke’s) evil dad. That was about when I started predicting Sawyer’s imminent death, and as you can see, I am terrible at predicting deaths. But UnLocke can read Sawyer’s anger and confusion, his ambivalence toward life, and so he set about making the con man into a pawn. And oh, how easy it was. Poor Sawyer.

--No Temple hijinks this week; the only other place we visited was the beach, now bereft of Other extras (phew, say the producers, that’s a couple dozen fewer weekly paychecks!), where the Fearsome Foursome of Sun, Frank, Ilana, and Ben gave the real Locke a funeral at the long-forgotten Boone Hill. Nice shout-out to old Lost lore, right up to the shot of Mr. Eko’s never-to-be-finished (???) church in the background! And only Ben could take a moment of great poignancy and pathos, and turn it one-eighty degrees into ghoulish comedy. “...and I’m sorry I murdered him.” That line, everyone’s nonplussed reactions, Ben slouching away, and Frank’s muttered aside about this being the weirdest funeral ever, had me in highly inappropriate stitches. Also, thank god they buried Locke, already. I mean, I miss him and everything, but the dude’s been lying there in a state of decay for like weeks.

-Sun, NOOOOO! Don’t go to the Temple! Jin’s not there! God, I feel like I’m screaming at the characters in a horror movie. STOP TEASING US, SHOW.

--Hmmmm, spooky adolescent boy in the jungle. And he’s not just a single man’s vision; Sawyer saw him as well. What does this portend? The single, cryptic crack in UnLocke’s calm armor was quite intriguing. Does some lingering trace of Jacob yet remain? Did we just see a future version of Aaron, or has Craphole Island magic turned Walt white? What did Creepy Ghost Teen mean when he said, “You can’t kill him”? Who? Sawyer? Alpert? Jack? Widmore? Hmmmmmm.

--So, to loop back into the land of Timeline LAX....UnLocke’s near-implacable machinations were balanced with the angst of Sideways Locke, who STILL didn’t get his damn walkabout. This time, however, he let go and made a kind of peace with his own crippled body. With the warm, nurturing presence of Helen, he let go of his baggage. I’m still too busy chuckling at the awesome alternate versions of Hurley and Rose to really care. Oh, and Ben. Sideways Ben awesomely popped up as THAT high school teacher. You know, the one who’s really sarcastic and a pariah, who spends a lot of time talking loudly and snarkily to himself while the other teachers silently pray for him to get steamrolled in the next round of budget cuts? Heeee, loving it. Since Timeline ANKH Ben is currently a barely-there mope, I’m glad we have Timeline LAX Ben to be a delightful asshole.

--And then, of course, that harrowing descent into a seaside cave where Jacob once worked his magic. (Was it me or did Sawyer’s perilous ladder hijinks seem like episode padding?) After a humorous/ominous callback to the show’s old black-vs.-white theme, we got the big set piece: a cavern covered with names, many crossed off, many familiar, all bearing numbers next to them. Variables. Substitutes. Jacob seemed to sense his doom, literally or figuratively, and has been working like mad to find....a replacement. And his net was cast far indeed. I imagine that people will be using the power of TiVO to spot some interesting names on those walls (I spotted the name “Troup,” presumably a reference to the mystery author who got puréed by a jet engine in the series pilot). For now, though, it’s enough to know. And UnLocke has knocked another candidate from the wall, thanks to Sawyer’s weakness. One down. A bunch to go. Uh-oh, good guys!

--The moral of this episode: God hates John Locke. Can’t wait until more stuff happens next week! Hopefully involving CLAIRE, who I am MUCH MORE INTERESTED IN RIGHT NOW.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lost, Season 6, Episode 3

6.3: What Kate Does

--I fail to see the significance of the episode title. What does Kate do? Well.....stuff. Y’know, stuff. Just like in every episode in which she appears, which is practically every episode. Sorry, but I was hoping for Kate to do something HUGE and GAME-CHANGING, and she didn’t. Though, actually, some of the things she didn’t do were kinda significant. Still, it seems like any Kate-centric episode could have been called “What Kate Does.” Minor nitpick there.

--My love/hate relationship with Kate is still going strong, as she skillfully balances competence with stupidity, compassion with bitchitude, and pouting with....uh....pouting from a slightly different camera angle. This episode was middle-of-the-road as far as Kate-centrics go, with some good and some meh. As always, she’s chasing her men -- Sawyer, in this case, who grabbed a gun and very easily made a run from the Temple. Kate volunteered to track him down, with the help of Jin, whose actual motives were about as opaque as invisible plastic wrap. Seriously, who cares about Kate and Sawyer? CAN JIN AND SUN PLEASE GET BACK TOGETHER? CAN WE NOT HAVE ANY MORE BEAR TRAPS, EVIL DOPPELGANGERS, TIME-JUMPS, OR FRENCH RESEARCH TEAMS KEEPING THEM APART? Sigh, guess not.

--Sooooo, Aldo got to come back and be an incredible dick just long enough to paint a great big target on his chest before dying. Yeah, totally didn’t see that coming. I do like how they’re trotting out past characters, even ones we totally forgot about. That Justin guy was kinda cool, though, but you’ve gotta take the good with the bad. Hey, what about the other Oceanic 815 survivors? What about Sexy Blue Striped Shirt Girl, goddammit? Did they ALL die off? BRING BACK SEXY BLUE STRIPED SHIRT GIRL! (

--Right, right, the review. Back in the Temple, Dogen the Other boss-man demonstrated his warm beside manner by jabbing Sayid with electrodes and hot pokers, ’cause Sayid apparently can’t not be tortured sooner or later. This led Mr. I-Don’t-Like-Your-Heathen-Pig-Language to determine that our sexy Iraqi had been....infected, or possessed, or something. Something bad, anyway. Ahhhh, so THIS explains the “Sickness” that turned the French team into psychos! Another piece falls into place. Dogen concocted a neat little “medicine” pill and tried to get Jack to feed it to Sayid. But Jack was going through a surprisingly non-idiot spell and totally called Dogen’s bluff, trying to take the pill himself. Dogen freaked, and was subsequently forced to admit that he’d been trying to poison Sayid. Why? Well, picture someone as unhinged and slaughter-happy as the late Rousseau....with the strength, survival instinct, and torture skills of Mister Jarrah. Yipe. Can’t wait to see how this subplot cooks....

--“We’ll be in the food court if you need us.” Miles, I love you. Never stop being an asshole.

--So, Kate successfully shed the Other goons and Jin, then found Sawyer moping around the Barracks like a more rugged, less sparkly Edward Cullen. The whole sequence between them was kind of odd and could, I feel, be interpreted in several ways. They tossed around blame for Juliet’s death, the moral of which seemed to be that NO ONE WAS REALLY RESPONSIBLE SO STOP WHINGING ABOUT IT, GUYS, and then Kate cried alone on a pier. Was she crying because she’d lost her shot at Sawyer? Because she couldn’t help but take the blame for Juliet dying? Because the actions of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world? I honestly don’t know, but I guess Kate’s come to terms with the fact that A) Sawyer slipped away, and B) she has to be a decent person even when she doesn’t want to....

--As demonstrated ham-handedly in the flash-sideways, in which Kate was a total bitch to Claire, felt bad after fondling a stuffed orca, then went back to lend the cute pregnant Aussie a hand. Which led to some awkwardness, initially, until Kate’s maternal side kicked in big time. Once Aaron’s would-be adoptive mother bailed out due to personal crises and Claire went into labor, Kate just had to rush her to the hospital, then run after some brown-haired male doctor whose face we didn’t see at first. Heh, it’s totally gonna be Jack, right? Because who else could it b--


--I wish I was kidding about the screaming, but that was my IRL reaction. God dammit, I should’ve KNOWN they’d find another way to bring back creepy Ethan and his creepy jowls! GAH. Okay, what’s the significance of Ethan being a (maybe) non-Other physician in Timeline LAX? What other Others might we see? Ooohh! I wanna see Tom as a go-go dancer, and Ms. Klugh as Obama’s wife, and Mikhail the eyepatch guy as a kindergarten teacher, and......ahem. Anyway. Kate did good. That, I think was the point. The “What Kate Does” refers not to a specific deed but to a universal. Kate does the right thing. Well, ain’t she saintly. And, of course, all the stuff with Claire foreshadowed the DUN DUN DUNNNNNN moment, when Dogen grimly revealed to Jack that his quasi-sister had fallen prey to Smokey madness....and then Claire herself appeared, grimy and shotgun-wielding, to gun down some Others and stare at a downed Jin. Heh, cool. I love the idea of an evil Claire. She’ll be even cuter!

--Hey, Kate? When you’re hiding from the cops, you might wanna wait a little longer before emerging from hiding and taking off. Just in case they might be LINGERING OUTSIDE THE DOOR, or might be SUSPICIOUS OF A RANDOM GIRL WHO WILLINGLY TOOK A CAB RIDE WITH A CONVICTED CRIMINAL, or might have TOLD THE HOSPITAL STAFF ABOUT YOU. I mean, Jesus, how does she stay on the lam when she does dumb shit like that? Especially with cameras following her around and getting poignant close-ups all the time! Oh, yeah, it’s called Hollywood.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Kingdom Hearts II, First Impressions

I don’t just review new things. In fact, most of my reviews will be of things that have existed for awhile. This is not chronological order; this is ME order. The order in which I encounter things for reviewing.

So....Kingdom Hearts II, first impressions.

I enjoyed KH1 quite a bit, though not without some reservations. As a casual Final Fantasy fan, I simply could not approve of the mutated, kiddie versions of famous FF characters who showed up anachronistically throughout the game. I had more fun when it was all Disney, all the time, because who WOULDN’T want to summon freakin’ Simba to kick some ass, or run around Halloween Town? Sadly, the combat was a sparkly, button-spamming clusterfuck and my loyal sidekicks existed mainly to use up all the potions. Still, good times.

The plot is even more vague than most Final Fantasy stories, which is saying a lot. I can’t even begin to describe it, so I’ll just say that the hero is a kid named Sora, his sidekicks are Donald Duck and Goofy....uh....McGoofy, there are lots of worlds, and Sora wields the Keyblade, a big sword/key thing that....does stuff. Yeah. Enough exposition.

Right away, Kingdom Heart II wins the award for the most bizarre, random prologue sequence in the history of gaming. Seriously, I’m not sure it really happened, or if I hallucinated it. You spend over an hour as some kid named Roxas, running around a charming place called Twilight Town that seems to only have like a dozen residents, doing utterly meaningless chores with three other kids. I....honestly have no clue what was going on. Twilight Town is a computer simultation....maybe? And Roxas isn’t real.....I think? And there’s this Tusken Raider dude with the voice of Christopher Lee, and this cryptic blonde girl, and these evil guys in hoodies named Organization XIII, and Ansem (the bad guy from KH1) is a member of OXIII but is also in league with Christopher Lee the Tusken Raider, only he’s also maybe working against him, and you have to fight some gay albino sex slaves with fanny-packs for heads, and Roxas was a member of OXIII but now he has different memories, and he’s Sora’s evil twin.....or....maybe......but......gggaaahhhhhh. This utterly baffling bafflement goes on for awhile, and then Roxas vanishes, Sora reappears, the actual GAME begins, and the prologue becomes some sort of surreal fever dream. What the FUCK.

I believe I know what happened. See, between KH1 and KH2, there was a DS-exclusive game called Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Okay, no problem, except that Disney and Squeenix violated one of the cardinal rules of video game franchises: SIDE-GAMES CANNOT CONTINUE THE MAIN STORYLINE. Is it necessary to play the eight thousand Resident Evil side-titles to understand the overall zombie-ridden mythology? Um, no! Will God of War 3 hinge on the player having already played that Chains of Olympus thing on the PSP? Of course not! The whole point of side-games is that they MERELY EXPAND the world of the franchise. And yet, all this crazy shit apparently happened in Chain of Memories, and they felt the need to continue that storyline into KH2. And so this poor critic who does not own a DS and did not get to experience Chain of Memories is COMPLETELY IN THE DARK BECAUSE A HUGE CHUNK OF NARRATIVE IS MISSING. THANKS, MORONS.

Anyway, I am now past that cryptic pile of prologue and into the main plot, which follows along faithfully from before. Sora is still trying to find his jailbait friends. Donald and Goofy are still annoying. The gameplay isn’t that altered and the battles still consist of frantically mashing X until everything that looks evil is dead. Oh, but now we have Quick Time Events! Yep, press Triangle at the right moments and you can fuck up the bad guys in more creative ways, God of War-style. To be fair, this does make the combat more dynamic and strategy-based....a bit. But baby steps, baby steps.

The Gummi Ship feature has also been retooled somewhat. I haven’t done too much with it yet; I always found the Gummi thing to be kind of pointless in the first game, especially once you get the ability to just warp everywhere instantly. Also, the ship-building part was horribly designed and confusing. It looks quite different in KH2, so I pray that they streamlined it. The flying sections are way more interesting; think StarFox on crystal meth. The only world I’ve visited apart from the hubworld (the randomly-named Hollow Bastion) is the Beast’s Castle, which was quite fun and had a pretty killer boss fight at the end. So I’m eager for more.

KH2, from my first impressions, is plenty fun and fixes enough things from KH1 to make it a step up. Still too much button-mashing and potion-hogging, and WAY too many cutscenes. But they have added one thing that I am eternally grateful for: YOU CAN SKIP CUTSCENES NOW. Thank you, KH team, thank you! You have no idea how much I grew to loathe the cutscenes in the first game....especially the ones right before hard boss fights. Skippable cutscenes should be mandatory in all video games. Anyway, KH2 is good. I can’t wait for the Tron and Steamboat Willie sequences!

But, Jesus, what was UP with that bizarre intro? Are we even gonna SEE those characters again, or was it doing double duty as a wrap-up of the Chain of Memories storyline, and will never be mentioned now that it’s done? Maybe it really was just a dream. I mean....Christopher Lee? Come on!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lost, Season 6, Episode 1/2

Lost is my favorite TV show ever, and I'm going to be writing up reviews of each episode as it comes. My reviews tend to be as much speculation and fanboy orgasms as actual criticism, so get used to that. Here, somewhat belatedly, is the first!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This review will make absolutely NO sense if you don't watch Lost. Just warning you.

6.1/6.2: LA X

--Yeah, it was all right.

--Okay, okay, it was awesome. Sorry. After two hours of utter fangasming over the intensity of the new season, it’s hard to put one’s thoughts together. Lordy, lordy, how shall I keep my bullet points short and to the point? So much just went down that it took two entire timelines to keep track of it all! We learned a lot, and, as always, were left with questions out the wazoo. There was heartbreak. There were shocks. There was confusion and chaos, the lines between living and dead got even more tenuous, past and present characters came together, and there was even room for that Frogurt douchebag. And wow, was it fun. Season Six is gonna be the real deal, folks, the season of answers. I have so much faith.

--As always, the season began with confusion disguised as banality. How fondly I recall the weirdness of Desmond in the hatch, or Juliet in her cozy Barracks home. This time, we got Jack on a plane, being served vodka by good old Cindy the Stewardess, chatting with Rose as Oceanic Flight 815 buckled and shook. And then....the turbulence died. Desmond sat down beside Jack. Bernard made it back from the loo. The camera swooped into the ocean’s depths to show us a very submerged and seaweed-festooned four-toed statue foot. BWWWUUUHHHH?! DID THE BOMB-EXPLODEY SCHEME ACTUALLY WORK? And if it did, why’s Kate up in a tree with an earache? WHAT IS THIIIISSSSS?!

--Two timelines. I don’t believe it. Two fucking timelines at once. They are pulling the ultimate “What If?” by showing us a dual set of scenarios...the one where our heroes are still on the Island, catapulted back into the present day, and the one where the plane never crashed and everyone was delivered safely to LAX, there to start brand new stories. And they ain’t the stories we expected. In “Timeline LAX” (as I shall call it), a bunch of new potential conflicts were set up. Jin got caught with undeclared money and was hauled off. Kate escaped from Marshall Mars and hijacked a cab....with a very unhappy Claire in the backseat. Jack saved Charlie from suicide, much to the hobbit’s chagrin, then found that the coffin containing his dad’s body had mysteriously vanished. He also bonded with Locke, still wheelchair-bound, but now apparently returning in triumph after completing his walkabout. This has to be significant: in Timeline LAX, our heroes’ lives had already changed prior to Flight 815. Hence, Desmond’s on the plane, Hurley’s all smiles and good luck, and Boone never retrieved Shannon from Australia. Again, BWWWUUUHHH?! What importance might this have?

--Meanwhile, in “Timeline ANKH” (named after the giant symbolic wooden thang found in Jacob’s guitar case), our strange family of castaways struggled to save two of their own: Juliet, now pinned beneath the imploded Swan Station debris, and Sayid, still quietly bleeding out. Sadly, we knew Juliet’s death was a given, but at least she had one more moment with Sawyer. Touching and tragic it was, and a more fitting end to a wonderful character. And it left Sawyer with one helluva vendetta against Mr. This-Bomb-Plan-Will-Totally-Work. When Sawyer snarled, “He deserves to suffer on this rock like the rest of us,” I shuddered. This may be the thing that decides the respective fates of the two men -- not to mention Kate, who’d better make a damn decision soon.

--Ahhhh, the Temple. Cool place. Very mystic and shit, and home to perhaps the most feral, indigenous band of Others yet. Following a tip from Creepy Ghost Jacob (as opposed to Normal Creepy Jacob), the seven dwarves hauled their dying, sexy Snow White into the grasp of this new bunch, who included a very native-looking Cindy. (Yay, Cindy’s back! I’m so thrilled to see they didn’t forget her!). The leader of the Temple Others, Mr. Miyagi, and his sidekick/translator, Hippie Bob, obeyed the written orders from Jacob and invoked a very odd ritual that involved drowning Sayid. Uh, is that what Alpert did to Young Ben? Whatever the case, it seemed to fail, but since we got so many shots of Sayid’s “dead” body, I knew he’d pop back to life. And so he did, providing the “DUN DUN DUNNNNN!” moment before the final title card. Sorry, but I saw it coming. There’s such a thing as too much foreshadowing, show. But how is Sayid changed or unchanged, now that Craphole Island juujuu has saved him?

--UnLocke: one scary mother. As poor Ben looked on in shock and confusion, the man he thought was John Locke revealed his true colors in a really CGI-heavy way, and answered a whoooole lotta questions. When poor Bram and some redshirts burst into Jacob’s lair and shot UnLocke in the chest, guess what he turned into? Awww, yeah. The Man in Black and Smokey are the same entity. He’s been here the whole time, waiting, hungry for his chance to escape. Season One, Episode Four: he faces down Locke and sees a man whom he can twist and manipulate, who may one day be his vessel. Season Three, Episode Five: he seeks an alternative in Mr. Eko, then kills him in anger when the script doesn’t go his way. IT ALL MAKES SENSE. Kind of. Also, significant to note how Bram briefly kept Smokey/UnLocke at bay with a circle of ash. The Temple Others did the same thing. And remember that ash around Jacob’s cabin? The rules are coming into view. Yes, there are rules. But MIB/UnLocke has found ways to get around them. Which cannot be good.

--So, we’ve left behind the 1970s for two different years, 2004 and 2007. I imagine that, for awhile at least, the show will follow Timeline LAX and Timeline ANKH as they go their very separate ways. But is this just a big exercise in theoretics, or is there some significance to the fact that both timelines are being shown to us? Where’s this going? Anywhere, or nowhere? I really hope it doesn’t just turn out to be a big time-padding gimmick. Nah, they wouldn’t do that. Would they?

--The Temple prepares for war. UnLocke marches coldly off into the jungle with his new captive, Richard Alpert. (His exchange with the shocked Alpert strongly suggests that our immortal guyliner enthusiast was once an unwilling passenger on a certain slave ship. Wait, shouldn’t he be black, then?) We say our goodbyes to Juliet, and bid a surprised hello to some old friends. We wonder about Rose and Bernard, about Mr. Walking Jesus Metaphor (that’d be Sayid), about the wrathful Sawyer and the increasingly mystical Hurley. We ponder Juliet’s final claim that the bomb plan worked, and what that could mean. We bite our nails waiting for next week, when we dive deeper into this dense world for the last time. Nothing but good can come of this. Season Six, my friends, will rock.

--One more chilling observation: Creepy Ghost Christian appears to be in league with MIB. It adds up: the discovery that Jacob’s cabin had been compromised, the role of Christian in pushing Locke in the direction MIB needed, and the angry eyeball glaring at Hurley from the cabin in “The Beginning of the End,” which was very likely MIB’s. CHRISTIAN’S A BAD GUY. And, guess who else that implicates? Who else was chilling in Jacob’s compromised cabin? CLAIRE. OH....FUCK.

Not ANOTHER Dang-Blasted Critic!

Yes, another. This is the blog where I will be reviewing things. Games, books, movies, some TV. Whenever I get the hankering to review something, this is where said review shall go. Thanks to the freedom of content, I can use more purple language that on, say, Amazon. Watch:

fuck shit turd nipples

See? Don't worry, I only swear when it's appropriate or funny, which is most of the time.

Reviews shall follow.