Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lost, Season 6, Episode 13

6.13: The Last Recruit

--Okay, here we go. Locke and Sun arrived at the hospital at the same time and Sun freaked out upon seeing Locke. Sawyer and Kate flirted like crazy until Sawyer went with Miles to bust Sayid, wanted for murdering Keamy and Co. Sayid tried running and failed. Desmond got in Claire’s face at the adoption agency and dragged her to talk to his favorite lawyer, Ilana, who was amazed to see the very woman the Shepherd family had been looking for! Jack arrived with his vampire son and met Claire, was shocked to learn that he had an illegitimate sister. Then he got called back to operate on Locke, whereupon he recognized the bald dude from LAX. Also, Sun’s fine and so is her unborn babe, yay!

--Wrote it all in one breath. Yeah, that was pretty much everything that went down in Timeline LAX, where a Series of Un/Fortunate Events occurred to place all our heroes in each other’s trajectories. Yep, they’re hurtling towards each other like a freight train; Desmond barely needed to do any work! It’s like he knows exactly which thread to tug, which person to nudge, to get the wheels spinning. Hurley was missing from the action....but then, he’s already had his epiphany, hasn’t he? I wonder how all the others will have theirs, and what’s gonna happen when they do. I mean, Timeline LAX has to be leading somewhere big, right? Some huge event that’s gonna rock both timelines, right? It had better, because I’m sick of being teased. This episode was rather teasing, one of those eps where a lot happens but most of it is pointless, mere setup for events to come. Four eps left, guys! Make all this count!

--The “Last Recruit,” by the way, is Jack. This was made kinda clear at the beginning when UnLocke immediately honed in on Dr. Shepherd and took him off for some casual chitchat, which is UnLocke-ese for “manipulating the fuck out of your meaty skull.” To seal the deal, Claire cozied up to Jack as well. So when Sawyer put his sub-snatching plan in motion, Jack just wasn’t buying it. More than ever, he’s walking the way of True Locke and has determined that they can’t leave, not without doing whatever the hell it is they were always meant to do. Sawyer managed to recruit his own band of runaways, though his attempt to leave without PsychoClaire was foiled. Kate, bless her, had one of her rare tactful moments and played the remorse card to Claire, who seemed to buy it, at least for now. I dunno,’s hard to take the jungle out of the Nouveau Rousseau.

--Is Desmond dead? Naaaaaahhhh. I didn’t believe it when UnLocke tossed him in the well and I don’t now. After Tina Fey showed up to demonstrate Widmore’s ability to make things blow up spontaneously with no apparent weapons (either that or they ran out of budget and can’t depict missiles), UnLocke sent Sayid to put an end to Desmond. However, Des -- looking bloody and rattled but still rather zenlike -- tried talking to Sayid, asking him exactly how he’s gonna explain to his beloved (IF UnLocke can bring her back) what he’s done to reunite them. And we didn’t see Sayid’s reaction, though he later told UnLocke he had indeed done the dirty deed, and UnLocke did not call his bluff. Sayid’s totally lying. As Hurley tried to explain with more tortured Star Wars analogies, there is still good in the man! Notice how in both timelines, Sayid is coming to terms with how he can never be with his dear Nadia. A step in the right direction, I hope!

--Two more mysteries to check off the list: the nature of Creepy Ghost Christian (it was the Nemesis all along, duh) and Ilana’s last name (Verdansky). Verdansky? Funny, she doesn’t look Druish.

--So our heroes fled and nabbed Desmond’s boat for a trip into Widmore’s arms, but Jack went back. Jack went back after Sawyer gave flak. Jack went back for the Widmore attack. Jack went back and wore a pack. Jack went back, but cut him some slack! I’ll stop making cracks about Jack going back, but I don’t buy that he’s fallen into UnLocke’s clutches. Nah. Jack’s too damn smart at the moment. I bet, I just bet, that he’s gonna do something that will really fuck up UnLocke’s agenda. Awww, yeah. Let it be so. Let Jack go back and give Locke a whack!

--Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for....Jin and Sun’s reunion. And, sigh, not as good as I’d hoped. I mean, yeah, it was heartfelt and tearful and all, but after all this damn waiting, I wish they’d lingered on it a bit more. They’ve been apart for THREE BLOODY YEARS! Give them a nicer moment, preferably one in which they’re not being ogled by like everyone on the Island and his brother! Oh, and now Sun’s got her English skills back, how touchingly symbolic. Feels like a gimmick to me, something they stuck in at the last minute. And, of course, they don’t get to be safe or happy because Widmore’s proved his dickishness by ordering his Mad Geek Squad to take our heroes prisoner. You know what that means! POLAR BEAR CAGES! WE’RE BACK IN THE FUCKING POLAR BEAR FUCKING CAGES! WHAT A GOOD IDEA, WRITERS, TO RELIVE THE WORST PART OF LOST EVER! Ahhh, well, it can’t be for long. Maybe Richard, Ben, and Miles will ride in to save the day, or maybe Widmore just thinks he’s doing it for their protection. I have to wait two weeks to find out, so I guess we’ll just sit around and fidget until we learn what comes next, with most of the good guys caged and the bad guys exchanging fire. Wheeeeeeeeeee!

--Jack went back to the Man in Black. Jack went back; he’s got that knack. Please, Dr. Jack, fix poor Locke’s back!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lost, Season 6, Episode 12

6.12: Everybody Loves Hugo

--First of all, best episode opener ever. This season’s had some awesome ep openers (epopeners?), what with Smokey-Cams and night-vision goggles and such. But all were trumped by....a Powerpoint presentation, narrated by Dr. Pierre Chang himself, on how awesome and wonderful Hugo “Hurley” Reyes is. Hell, if I were in charge of making Lost, that’s the sort of thing I’d put in! And I’m glad we got that comic sequence, because most of the ep, even the sideways flashes, were drenched, soaked, and saturated in smooth, oily dread. Watching people get blown up, tossed down wells, run over by cars, and march away to (likely) doom on a foolish terrorist mission -- fucking EEEEK. We’re in a Final Destination movie! Except, y’know, better written and not crammed with whiny twentysomethings.

--Awesome indeed, as we witnessed the Power of the Hurley in all its splendor. Dudes, nothing compares with the Power of the Hurley. Why else would Jack, Sun, and Frank follow the big guy despite their instincts to run as far away from UnLocke and his creepy grin as possible? Like the beginning of the ep made clear, Hurley’s a good luck charm. No matter what he himself might think. And those who don’t realize this are toast one way or another. They blow up. They get tossed down wells. And so forth. And then they remain, an invisible presence trapped by their own fell deeds, caught in the pocket of space that is the Island, discernible only as......Whispers. THEY TOLD US WHAT THE WHISPERS ARE. AFTER SIX SEASONS. And while I still have a question or two (why do the Whispers announce the arrival of the Others? What criteria makes a person into a Whisper?), my jaw dropped in delight. Check another long-simmering mystery off the list!

--So, Hurley hoped for Creepy Ghost Libby but instead got Creepy Ghost Michael. In his Creepy Ghost Hoodie. Telling Hurley that, the whole “blowing up Flight 316” thing? BAD. Black Rock TNT? BAD. As was demonstrated. Yes, we’ve had our first main cast list casualty of the season, and it just had to be the least important main cast member, Ilana, who went the way of the Arzt after making the mistake of no longer being relevant. As Ben snarkily proclaimed, the Island was done with her, because the Candidates can look after their own damn selves now. Richard had yet to grasp this, so he dragged everyone back to the Black Rock for more boomsticks....but Hurley got there first and blew it up. LOL! But all amusements aside, note how fucking courageous he was to go into that deathtrap and rig some TNT. This is why we should be following Hurley, people!

--Damn, even knowing Desmond wasn’t gonna die so abruptly, it was still so freaking tense to see the smirking, snakelike UnLocke lead the Scot into the wilderness to dispose of him. Because we all KNEW UnLocke was gonna dispose of Desmond; we could read it all over his predatory face. Timeline ANKH Desmond is still all smiles and passivity, unafraid even of the scariest man on the Island. And, significantly, another spooky ghost boy popped up to glare at a very perturbed UnLocke. Or was it the same ghost boy with different hair? Whatever, it didn’t stop UnLocke from showing Desmond a well (NOT the Frozen Donkey Well) and then chucking the poor guy down inside it. We know Desmond didn’t die (even without the shots of him in the teaser for next week), but things still look bleak. Unless all Island wells are connected and he turns the Frozen Donkey Wheel. Lordy, what would that do at this point?

--So, there was this one really weird flash-sideways featuring Kate, where she was all clean and shiny for some reason, and talking enthusiastically about Loréal shampoo. How baffling! What, is this some kind of dream sequence or...........oh.

--Richard, Miles, and Ben: so bloody doomed. I’m not really happy about Richard’s current kaboom-happy crusade, because I seem to recall him having this huge epiphany and rebirth ONLY THREE EPISODES AGO. During which time Hurley reaffirmed his faith. Only now Richard’s all Scoffy McSkeptic. Whatever....he’s lost most of my goodwill. But why are Ben and Miles following him? I’m thinking Ben might want to try and make his own deal with Widmore....or, more likely, kill the son of a bitch. And Miles? He’s got himself some diamonds, but they’re useless unless he can get off the Island, and Widmore’s got both a sub and a plane. Makes sense. But they’re still DOOMED. Because they spurned Hurley.

--And Hurley is not to be spurned. Libby knows it! In Timeline LAX, Hurley is a big kahuna whom everyone loves, but he’s still finding it hard to be happy. Then Libby appeared, radiant and unbalanced, to insist that she and Hurley knew each other once, in another time, another life. Wow, Libby (i.e., Cynthia Watros) has never looked more lovely. Her lonely soulmate was smitten, at least enough to want to see her again....and again. And again. Until finally, with a sweet, sweet kiss, the two of them made the connection we were waiting for, and Hurley too saw flashes of that other time and place, where he and Libby shared one brief, shining moment on an Island of mystery. I loved it, and I was biting my nails. Because tragedy is still looming, a black cloud over everything. I can’t be happy for all these lovebirds when I’m so scared for them, dammit! Well, at least sideways Libby lived through this ep. A good sign. I hope we see her at least once more, maybe learn why she keeps finding herself in the nuthouse. If only to shut the fanboys up.

--So, things end on a note both sweet and dire. Sweet, because Hurley and Libby are finally together in one timeline, and all of our original 815 survivors (minus poor Jin) are together again in another! Dire, because....well, because of EVERYTHING ELSE. Our heroes are united under the banner of UnLocke. Desmond’s down a well. Jin’s still a guest of Widmore. Richard, Ben, and Miles are heading toward a bad end. And, in a shocking last-minute flash-sideways, Desmond visited a certain elementary school and TOOK OUT SIDEWAYS LOCKE WITH HIS CAR. Possibly killing him....or maybe opening his eyes to something crucial? Revenge, or a really great idea? Holy shit, what if sideways Locke makes contact with the other timeline, the one where he’s dead and his identity has been co-opted by an evil quasi-deity. Those kind of implications are why I adore this damn show so much!

--Oh, yeah, there was another really bizarre flash-sideways, featuring Radzinsky, of all people! What the hell? He was still a shouty asshole, only how he was like some elementary school basketball coach, and I kept spotting actors from that Modern Family show, and..............oh.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lost, Season 6, Episode 11

6.11: Happily Ever After

--Love. Isn’t it nice? Love can make or break a man. Love can also make or break a space-time continuum. We already knew that Desmond and Penny’s love crossed time, but now it’s definitely crossing space as well. Oh, and anyone who was still convinced that Timeline LAX was just a waste of time, a diverting but ultimately pointless series of what-ifs? You just got served. Who better than our special time-unstuck Scot to bridge the gap between two different realities and set the course for what may be a very awesome flash-sideways wrap-up. Which is my way of saying I definitely loved this episode.

--Let’s just remind ourselves what Desmond’s gone through already. In “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” we learned that the (non)fatal electromagnetic kablooey from the Swan Station sent his mind careening back in time, and in the process, unlocked the potential of said mind. In “The Constant,” the Island’s mysterious invisible barrier threatened to undo Desmond’s mind altogether, but he saved himself by connecting with the anchor that held his life in place: Penny. Desmond is special. Very, very special. And certain people know this. “Happily Ever After” brought them all back, the ones who were linked to Desmond’s journey: Penny, Widmore, Daniel, Eloise, Minkowski, and even Charlie, who played a surprising and mesmerizing role in the new awakening of Mr. Hume. And although episodes that focus on a single character should be avoided this close to the endgame, I believe this ep was quite necessary. Don’t you agree?

--So, in the Jurassic Park-esque prologue, Widmore’s Mad Geek Squad (term coined by someone on shoved Des into a big box and blasted him with lethal levels of electromagnetism, replicating the Hatch explosion to make sure that they had the right special guy (presumably, if they didn’t, the clean-up team would be on hand with big spatulas). Needless to say, Desmond was very unhappy to discover he’d been shanghaied back to the Island that had stolen so much of his life. But that energy blast took him, and us, into Timeline LAX, where Desmond David Hume was a very, very contented man indeed. Why wouldn’t he be? He’s Widmore’s right-hand lackey, he has nice suits, no irritating family and friends to tie him down. Why, Widmore’s even sharing his most expensive Scotch, irony irony irony! He’s living the high life, and he doesn’t even realize that his existence is utterly, utterly hollow. BUT....

--A breath of fresh air comes in the form of Charlie Pace the junkie-now-turned-guru. Tasked to babysit Charlie, who is meant to jam for the Widmores at a charity gig, Desmond soon learned that Mr. Pace was off his rocker, no pun intended. Yeah, when a guy grabs the wheel away from you and steers you into the ocean, that’s a pretty good clue that he has issues. See, sideways Charlie had himself a near-death experience on Flight 815, during which he saw the face of love, a face that presumably was Australian, pregnant, and craving peanut butter. And he knew that it was real....that he had discovered something crucial and important. And Desmond saw it too, in a flash of memory/vision/time travel that caused him to relive not only Charlie’s watery demise in the Looking Glass, but also the face of his own true love, a woman who, in this reality, he’d never met. BUT....

--We all knew that the meeting was inevitable, yeh? Rattled by Charlie’s words, and by a CAT scan that only exacerbated his memories/visions/etc., Desmond next found himself up against our Grande Dame of Time Travel, Mrs. Eloise Widmore (née Hawking). Remember the first time we saw Eloise in the ring shop, when she acted all nice and normal, then suddenly went all cold and CREEPY AS HELL? This was like that. She was all smiles until she saw Desmond was looking for someone named Penny, and then then the Grande Dame all but bit his head off, snarling that his curiosity was a VIOLATION and he was NOT READY TO KNOW. I’m wondering if Eloise is part of a sort of secret society of time-unstuck folks (remember that she’s linked to that priest from Desmond’s time as a monk), and if we’ll ever get a shot of a group of dignified people sitting around a dramatically lit table in a dim room, debating....The Desmond Hume Situation. Anyway, poor Des didn’t have a clue what she meant. BUT....

--Her son, Daniel, sure did! Trust Dan to have figured things out even in this timeline where he’s nothing but a mopey wannabe musician in a silly hat. Daniel nabbed Desmond and showed him more proof of love conquering space and time: after glimpsing a certain fire-haired British academic at the local museum, Daniel the mopey musician wrote pages of genius-level quantum formulae in his sleep. And this somehow led him to deduce that....he and those around him are not meant to be living these lives. Something happened to knock the timeline askew, and a whole new set of circumstances and events formed. Any doubts Desmond might have had -- and I assume he had plenty -- vanished with the revelation that Daniel’s half-sister is named Penny. So he found her jogging around a familiar-looking stadium at night, and for the “first” time, two star-crossed lovers met. And that was when it all came together for Desmond David Hume. BECAUSE....

--Back in Timeline ANKH, Desmond awoke, none the worse for wear. And he’s all smiles and nods and serenity. Widmore needs him for some scheme? Sure! Sayid pops up to rescue Desmond from the Mad Geek Squad? Lead on! No more anger, no more doubt or confusion. Desmond knows the way. He knows that some things are inevitable. The man who has struggled against cruel fate for so long, now knows that fate will run its course no matter what. What will happen...will happen (to paraphrase a line that Lost loves lately). Both timelines will come together. And Desmond has a VIP seat for the Event. Oh, but first, sideways Desmond has some work to do, and it involves the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815. Hell, yes, it does.

--And here we were worried that the show had run out of stuff for Desmond to do. Yeah, it sucked that he was absent for so long. But there was a purpose. Desmond is a lynchpin, a keystone in the show’s mythology. He is unique in his own way, a way that may stand outside the plans of even Jacob and his Nemesis. They may have their equation, but Desmond is one variable that will And that, I think, will be crucial in what is to come. Maybe it’s idealistic to say that love conquers all, but the idea, the idea of something that can trump all other factors.....that’s something worth loving for, or even dying for.

--And even then, there’s always another

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Kingdom Hearts II, Ending Impressions

I beat Kingdom Hearts II.....go, me! Did I get one hundred percent completion? Of course I fucking didn’t! Because I am not the type of obsessive gamer who can’t live with himself if he doesn’t find every secret, max out every stat, unlock every unlockable, and beat the game on Horrible Rape Mode. I have absolutely nothing against people who ARE that fact, I admire their dedication. I can never be them. And I’m okay with that.

Overall, KH2 was a good game that improved on some stuff from the original. Yay for skippable cutscenes, Quick Time Events, better item management, a streamlining of that whole Moogle synthesis business, and a cooler-looking Gummi Ship mode! Unfortunately, some things actually went downhill in ways I did not expect. First and foremost...the game is easier. A LOT easier. I am measuring this based on how many times I died or failed at something. You know how many times that happened? Four. FOUR. I only died during one boss fight, the very last one. In KH1, some of the boss fights were damn hard and I had to try them multiple times, plus develop an actual strategy. In KH2, I won every boss fight by spamming the attack button and occasionally healing myself. I’m bad at multitasking during battle so I barely used magic, summons, or special forms. And I DID NOT FREAKING NEED THEM.

I’m sorry, but I believe a game should at least require you to play smarter rather than harder. You can beat this whole game by mashing X endlessly, with an occasional Triangle. Also, they removed certain fun side-questy things, like finding the trinity marks or collecting the 101 dalmatians, and even got rid of the special moves that allow you to access remote platforms for treasure chests, thereby giving you no reason to revisit old levels. To compensate, the contrived storyline forces you to visit each world twice. I call that clumsy. Why dumb down what doesn’t need dumbing down? The game’s dumb enough already.

See, my biggest overall issue with this franchise is that the separate parts of the game don’t gel at all. The Final Fantasy/JRPG stuff is utterly disconnected from the Disney stuff. The side missions and minigames have no relevance. The Gummi Ship stuff is literally its own game, and I didn’t even bother trying to build my own ships or complete Gummi missions because: what does it have to do with Kingdom Hearts? Bloody ZILCH. Also, the plot is It brings contrivance to a whole new level. When it’s not forcing syrupy friendship-related nonsense down our throats, it’s awkwardly trying to shoehorn the plots of Disney movies into the space provided. Hey, let’s revisit the story from the Lion King! Only simplified, retarded, and with no dramatic weight whatsoever! But at least we can giggle as the dude voicing Simba fails miserably to do a Matthew Broderick impression!

What’s weird is that these moments of utter idiocy are eased by the occasional moment of brilliance. The part where you go “back in time” to a black-and-white Steamboat Willie universe? EPIC. The fact that the Tron world is in this game? WONDROUS. And my jaw dropped at the end when they actually explained the weird-ass plot....AND IT MADE SENSE. The prologue of this game was so fucking random and bizarre that I thought it was a continuation of the plot from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Or maybe a fever dream. But no, they EXPLAINED all that random stuff, and I understood it! It was stupid as hell, but I understood it! I’d like to shake the hand of the men and women who managed to make this dopey mishmash of a “plot” add up in a pseudo-satisfying manner!

Speaking as a gay guy.....the ending of this game is the gayest ending of any game, ever. If you have played it, you know what I’m talking about. You’ll also understand the meaning of this sentence: Awkward hug versus falling on your knees and sobbing. Awkward hug. Falling on your knees and sobbing. Congratulations, Sora, you passed the gay test. Though, to be fair, Riku is the prettiest person in the whole game.

I just dissed this game majorly, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it! It was fun. I like the KH franchise, largely because all those random, painfully awkward Disney/Squeenix mashups make me giggle. The worlds were all pretty cool. The Winnie the Pooh section was vastly improved and had games that were actually fun and didn’t make me want to shove Pooh through a wood splitter. The Little Mermaid “musical” world was.........ehhhhhh. I did like the Gummi Ship courses even though they were pointless. It was amusing how we got two sets of villains for the price of one. Christopher Lee brought some class to the proceedings. And they had a “Pirates of the Caribbean” world, which was so surreal and hilarious that I could barely take it. I love how the various Disney characters that appear in these games just....take everything in stride.

SORA: Hi, I’m a freakishly proportioned anime child with hair like the Sydney Opera House, only stiffer. I have a huge glowing key. These are my friends, two talking animals who look nothing like animals. We fight bad guys who explode like piñatas, and money comes out!
WILL TURNER: I do not find this odd at all. Come on, let’s rescue my beloved!

Aaaaanyway. Kingdom Hearts II. It’s a lot of fun. I am not sorry I played it. It just begs to be mocked. A great deal.

And that’s what this critic is all about.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lost, Season 6, Episode 10

6.10: The Package

--Everybody was there. Holy shit, EVERYONE GOT LINES. I am so weirded out by this! How long has this show been hopping back and forth between two or more separate groups of people, leaving half the characters totally offscreen for entire episodes? Too long. This feels like....lordy, it feels like Season One! Well, Season One with way more crazy sci-fi shit going on. But even the pyrotechnics were turned way down here. This episode was a much-needed ensemble piece while still giving Sun and Jin so much to do. It feels like the first legit episode of the endgame, and while I’m saddened by the implications, I am also supremely satisfied. Mostly.

--So, yeah, in a sideways timeline, I am screaming in rage that our Kute Koreans could not be reunited even in their last-ever centric episode. But in that timeline, “The Package” was just mediocre. In this timeline, the ep was pretty damn great and a wonderful showcase for Sun and Jin, as they faced menace in Timeline LAX and personal drama and manipulation in Timeline ANKH. The ep surprised me. Yeah, the final twist was easy to predict, but there were a lot of little twists that I honestly did not see coming. I’ll discuss those great little twists and why they’re so cool.....

--Little Twist #1: Sideways Sun and Jin ain’t married! Nope, he’s just her “bodyguard” for this little jaunt to Amurrrrrica, but not too surprisingly, they’re still madly in love and knocking boots in swank hotel rooms. Sun still has her crazy escape plan, but now it involves both of them making a break from Sun’s scumbag father and starting a new life together. Alas, it was not to be. Both timelines underlined how others have tried to control the destinies of this lovestruck couple. Keamy and Omar showed up in full-on goon mode, bringing with them another familiar face, Sideways Mikhail (Little Twist #2!), and the scenes in which they tormented Sun and Jin were kind of scary to watch, even knowing that these goons get mowed down later. Even worse, Sun learned that her evil dad knew about her escape attempt and had hired Keamy to terminate Jin. Wince! It was a chilling reminder of how evil can work on people. Sorry, put the cork on the wine bottle pretty tightly, but I think these bastards escaped.

--Little Twist #3: Mind-jumbled Sun. It was great to see Sun stop playing the passive follower and lash out in frustration, sick of being jerked around. She returned to her long-lost garden (which was in a totally different location than in Seasons One and Two...nice going, continuity people) only to be confronted by UnLocke and his silver-tongued promises. Smartly, she fled, but cracked her head on a branch. (Why’d UnLocke just leave her there? Is he unable to abduct people against their will? Or did something to Sun?) This injury left her unable to speak English, though she could still understand it. Plot contrivance? No, irony! At the start of this show, it was Jin who was alienated by the language barrier, assumed to be a jerk and a tool because he could not properly make himself clear. Now it’s Sun who yells in Korean while everyone else stands around looking baffled. Wince! It’s also kind of a metaphor for turning back in on yourself...maybe to find what you really need?

--Little Twist #4: Nice-guy Widmore! He sent his goons to abduct Jin, presumably as part of some sinister scheme. Or maybe because Jin holds crucial info from the Dharma era. Depends on whom you ask....right, Tina Fey? But Widmore was really nice to Jin and handed him Sun’s camera, salvaged from Flight 316. On the camera, photos of Sun and of adorable little Ji Yeon. Awwww. Also....WINCE! Watching Jin break down as he viewed his daughter was painful, and obviously what Widmore intended. Still, the way in which he presented was convincing. I have predicted that Widmore’s not really a bad guy, or at least that he and our heroes can potentially join forces against the real baddie, Mr. Smoke-Filled Meatsack, who confronted Widmore at the portable sonic barrier and coldly told him that the rumble in the jungle was officially on. Hells, yeah, it’s on! But who will pay the price?

--Little Twists #5 and #6: Darth Sayid and PsychoClaire. The ep spend just enough time on these two henchpeople to make us really worried. First, Sayid blankly admitted that he feels nothing; his emotion has been drained from him. And UnLocke is creepily happy about that. Then Claire revealed that she’s gone back to hating Kate....and UnLocke cheerfully hinted that Claire can carve Kate up like a Christmas roast once all this is over. The way in which he’s pitting the two gals against each other...well, it ain’t gonna end well.

--In the midst of the turmoil, drama, suspicion, and whatnot, were Sun and Jin, two people in search of their better halves. They didn’t find each other this week, but the seeds are in place for them to finally take charge of their own destinies....or to potentially be destroyed. In a horrifying cliffhanger to the flash-sideways story, Jin escaped the goons with help from Darth Sayid, then took out Mikhail (oh, Jin, don’t you know how FUCKING HARD it is to kill this guy? You’re gonna need way more than bullets!)......but Sun got shot in the struggle. And as Jin frantically carried her off, she revealed that she is pregnant. And I’m guessing sideways Jin ain’t infertile, so it’s his. Fuck....I know the sideways stories will all be revisited in the last few episodes, but Jesus. This is the worst sideways cliffhanger yet, and I fear it also serves as foreshadowing for the events on Timeline ANKH. With Jin still the “guest” of a potential evildoer and Sun alienating herself from her friends (though not from Jack, thankfully), what may befall either of them, or both of them? Will their reunion only occur when one lies dying in the other’s arms? I’m gonna bite my nails for awhile.

Huge and Predictable Twist #1: Desmond. As we all guessed, Widmore’s brought him along. He’s back and he’s....rather woozy from all those drugs. Ah, but here’s what we didn’t predict quite so easily: Desmond is somehow vastly important to Widmore’s agenda. Widmore seems to think that Desmond is somehow....a weapon. Or so he implied. And it looks like we’re getting Desmond’s story next week, so I have something else to bite my nails about.