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DRIZZLE DRAZZLE DRUZZLE DROME – 5.01 ‘Because You Left’ and 5.02 ‘The Lie’

By Fishbiscuit,

  Filed under: Lost Recaps
  Comments: 50

DRIZZLE DRAZZLE DRUZZLE DROME

….Lost becomes a different show!

(Note: This will be a combined review of both Because You Left and The Lie. The reason for this is that I am one of those lucky people that still has a job in this economy, and writing TWO of these things in one week is kinda sorta totally impossible.)

In many ways this was Old School Lost. It opened with the annual Oh Snap! revelation of a mysterious headless person’s identity.

The numbers said Hi.

We saw dead people.

We got a spritz of love triangle flavored angst.

Locke fell backwards from a high place.

Hurley was the sad clown.

There were quirky self referential inside jokes.

And just when it seemed the night might end without a new Jackface, we got one of those too!

It all felt kind of the same. And yet…and yet…it didn’t. Something felt different. It seems our old friend Lost has had a bit of a makeover during the hiatus. Where it used to be a show that dabbled in time travel, such as in The Constant where time travel added resonance to the theme of love lost and love’s constancy found, in Season Five the heads up was given that this show is not just using time travel any longer to tell a tale – It’s ABOUT time travel. It took them four seasons to cough up this revelation in its entirety, but here we have it. And with that Lost fell head first into the rabbithole of paradox and annoying unanswerable questions that are the nature of the time travel beast.

Does time travel go forward, backward, in a loop? Are past events fixed or can the future be reset? Does the time traveler age? What happens to his memories – the ones he already has and the new ones he creates? And what about paradox? What happens when a person travels into the past and sets off a chain of events that preclude any possibility that they could ever have existed to set off that chain of events? Might it really be possible for someone to be his own grandpa?

If Sawyer and Juliet had gone back to the beach while the hatch was still blown, while the beach camp and all its inhabitants were still there, would they have been able to warn themselves about what was to come? Would there have been two shirtless Sawyers on our screen at the same time? Or is that what they mean by the Casimir Effect, that must be avoided at all costs?

One problem with time travel is that a minority of viewers with an unreasonable amount of education tend to intimidate the rest of us with their foofaraw about string theory and exotic matter and closed timelike curves and just generally dazzle us with their stratospheric mathspeak into forgetting that none of this makes a lick of frakking sense.

I mean, if the explanation lies in the existence of a rotating Black Hole that fails to produce a singularity, thereby creating a White Hole fueled by negatively energized exotic matter that can bloop anything within it to infinity and beyond…then are we really doing anything different than pretending that a file cabinet at LesterCorp in the Mertin Flemmer Building can be hiding the entrance to John Malkovich’s head?

I think the whole thing is best explained thusly:

“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff.”
Dr. Who

We need to enjoy time travel for what it is – total and complete nonsense, no more coherent than Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But just because it’s Wonderland, that doesn’t mean it’s an anarchy. It’s just that the laws, the rules, can be whatever the writers decide to make them. So the first order of business, as we set out on the journey of Season Five, is to establish just exactly what rules these fiendish minds have chosen for this brave new world they’ve brought us into. What’s the answer, Mr. Wizard?

Lost may have seemed like a whimsical world of pretty people undergoing existentialist crises while trapped in an absurdist tropical madhouse, but by tossing all its cookies into the time travel realm, our story has suddenly become constricted by a very stringent set of imaginary, but nonetheless absolute, Rulez and Lawz. If we’re going to stay on this ride, we need to live them, learn them, love them. So, I’d like to take a first crude stab at codifying them. With sincere apologies to all time travel purists who are offended by my flippant attitude towards this most sanctified realm of science fiction, I hereby present my version of

THE BOOK OF LOST LAWZ

1. Time is like a street.

You can travel up the street and down the street but you can not make a new street. I don’t know why this is. If time can be a frakking street why can’t we make as many Time Streets as we want? Because the Time Fairy says so, that’s why. In Time Travel Island, there is only one Time Street. It’s like an old Western town with just one dusty road down the middle, with lots of crazy gin joints lined up on it. This is not Alternate Universe style time travel here.

2. Even though you can’t make a new Time Street, it seems you can sort of fold Time Street back onto itself.

Or maybe it’s like a four way intersection. As an example, The Ghost of Ethan Past shot Locke in the leg, which could possibly explain (in a murky kind of timey wimey way) why Locke fell inexplicably lame years later when he and Boone “first” encountered the Beechcraft in Season One.

3. Traffic accidents are always an imminent threat on Time Street.

If a car traveling forward has a head on collision with a car traveling backward, it seems the byproduct of that collision will be the creation of a new memory where that memory didn’t exist before. Desmond didn’t remember the day Daniel knocked on his door to ask him to visit his Mum at Oxford U., until Daniel’s car backed up on Time Street and sideswiped Desmond’s car going forward. Of course, the Paradox Monster comes into play here, since if Desmond knew it was possible to exist outside the hatch without a space suit, he wouldn’t have been sitting there listening to Mama Cass when Locke first came to visit. But pay no attention to the Paradox Monster! That’s what our Magical Time Travel Wand is for. Be gone, Paradox! This is not that difficult, people.

4. The mind can travel through time without the body, but the body can not travel through time without the mind.

Also you get to keep the clothes on your back when you time travel, and your cool Zodiac boat, but you can’t bring any matches.

6. The characters are not driving their own cars on Time Street.

There is no time travel device, no Wayback Machine or Delorean, that can be calibrated to control the time travel. It’s all freestyle. The timeskippers are helpless passengers at the mercy of the Time God. This means they could end up literally anywhere at any time. The implications are fascinating. For instance, at one point Sawyer pulls a stick out of his bloody oozing foot.

This being the tropics, and Sawyer being one of those who seems immune to the healing properties of the island, that thing might well end up as a case of gangrene. Now that Sawyer and his foot are being held hostage on an Island careening madly down Time Street, could stepping on that broken arrow ultimately turn out to be the explanation for this?

5. When time trips out on Time Street, you might wake up and find that the Time God has hijacked your car and someone else is driving it.

The possibilities are pretty exciting actually. The Leftover Losties have already encountered a gang of barbaric soldiers with British accents, the kind of guys who will launch a flaming arrows massacre and then hunt you down and chop off your hands. So that’s going to be fun. This is where not being able to drive your own Time Car is going to be a huuuuge problem.

7. Only major characters can time skip. Anyone without a long term contract with ABC pretty much has to stay put in whatever intersection on Time Street they’ve been stranded on. This is an adjunct to the Rule of Redshirt, wherein only SAG day laborers die, even when withering medieval death rains from the sky.

The pretty people will live to see another harrowing adventure. The actors who didn’t keep up on those dental appointments will be flipping burgers back at Wendy’s on Monday.

8. The memories of the timeskippers travels with them, while those of the fixed characters seem to disappear. This explains why Richard was so disappointed that Baby Locke didn’t remember being given a compass in the “past”, and insisted on grabbing the knife instead.

Little Locke didn’t remember he had once owned the compass because Big Locke hadn’t been given it yet.

And Richard didn’t remember that the little boy with the Brylcream hair was the same person as the baldheaded mook with the crazy eyes, because Richard was not timeskipping at the time. Yet he does remember that he’s not going to remember, because….

…I don’t know. I think there might be a lot of drunk drivers on Time Street.

9. The source of the Time God is something that’s buried deep in the heart of the Island.

The episode began with a flurry of question answering. Marvin Candle used to have two arms. He was also kind of a dick to his workers. It turns out he came to the Island because he was fully aware of its magical time traveling properties. And even though he made all those misleading videotapes for the Dharma Initiative, he had no problem spilling the big secret to any hardhat who was working on the project. The Dharma Initiative did not put the eightspoked wheel of Time Bloop in the belly of the island. It was there before they came. And it is unclear whether anyone had ever decided to actually turn the thing before Benjamin Linus took it upon himself to finally do the deed.

10. Time travel makes your brain bleed out of your nose unless you have a constant.

Actually the concept of the Constant remains undefined. It may be that this theme was only useful for the one episode, as a metaphor for Desmond and Penny’s fidelity, or it may resurface later in some interesting permutation, such as the Oceanic Six (or perhaps just one of them) being the Constant that the Island needs to keep it from having a stroke. It was also unexplained why Charlotte was the only one of the timeskippers whose nose bled. Desmond’s nose bled when his 1996 traveled to the future, and Eloise’s brain bled out because of future travel as well. But the reasons for the nosebleeds suffered by Minkowski, Horace Goodspeed and the mineworker don’t lend to easy explanation. My guess is whatever the reason for Charlotte’s nosebleed, she’s been tagged as a goner. After all, how are they going to maintain the constant 3:1 ratio of Male:Female characters on this show if they don’t keep up the pace killing off the girls?

11. Whatever happened, happened.

This actually appears to be the penultimate Rule of All Rules in the Book of Lawz. This will not be a reset style time travel story. Cause will follow effect, in exactly the same determinist manner as they appear to do in our real world. Anything that seems as if it might be a rip in the fabric of time will be healed by ensuing events. This concept was previously described for us as Course Correction, which is more formally known as Novikov’s Self Consistency Principle. And we may have been seeing this all along, how past and future knit together to make sure, for example, Locke doesn’t climb up to the Beechcraft and fall and die.

Instead Boone gets to be the lucky one.

Because destiny, or…you know, the Island…demanded it. In a way this is bound to the idea that, since everything causes something else in a way that is fixed and immutable, the known result in effect causes itself to happen. Charlie died because he’d been told he had to die in order to create a future that in actuality never required him to die. The future causes the past just as surely as the past causes the future. The way this Book of Lawz has been written, there is no element of chance. Whatever is going to happen has already happened – sort of like whether Kate will choose Sawyer or Jack – and we just have to wait patiently to see how it is all going to play out.

12. Desmond is uniquely and miraculously Special.

For Desmond, and only for Desmond, none of these rules apply. Right after Daniel explained to Sawyer that he must not interact with the past because he could not interact with the past….Daniel immediately tried to interact with the past. And he succeeded. The only example Desmond gave of his Ultimate Rule was its exception. Not only did Daniel change the past by telling Desmond to visit his Mum in Oxford, he immediately altered the future that would have been, because that memory sprang into Desmond’s future consciousness, at just that very moment, and he dashed off to do what he had been told to do so many years in the past, that he had never remembered being told until that moment. Obviously this is how they are going to escape the Paradox Monster, by letting Desmond be a free agent in the timescape. Desmond is the wild card that will keep the story from spiralling into a void of pointless repetition.

So there we have it. The rules of order have been laid down and now we will see what kind of story can be spun from them. This is New Lost, which hopefully won’t suffer the same fate as New Coke, but which is definitely not the same as Old Lost. The premiere seems to have generated good buzz, but I wonder if I’m the only one who felt a little something was missing. A little…I don’t know…heart. Maybe it was just a casualty of time – the real kind of time – where because there was so much to stuff into one episode, there was only time to give us the bare bones of each character’s story. Interestingly, every character was represented, if only in flashback mode. And some characters definitely seemed to be taking on new importance.

Widmore scolded Sun for disrespecting him, but they continued to bond over their mutual agenda. It is starting to seem that, among Mr. Widmore’s many assets, he also wields a controlling interest of some kind in Oceanic Airlines itself.

Capo Kwon really put the screws to Kate, even though I’m pretty sure Kate didn’t get it. No way Sun forgives either Kate or Jack for what happened to Jin. And she seems awfully interested in Aaron having a play date with Ji Yeon, even though that seems like it would involve a rather inconvenient amount of transoceanic plane travel.

Little Aaron has grown up to the stage where he’s asking cute metaphysical questions about his morning cartoons. He’s really talking now! Unfortunately, his function in the plot at the moment seems to be that of sacrificial lamb. It still seems that he’s the one the Island is ultimately after.

Kate feels really, really bad about everything. She’s scared because it seems some genius has finally realized the Big O6 Lie was full of holes, and now her charade with Aaron is about to be exposed. But she didn’t call Jack! Good girl.

Jack, meanwhile, shaved off his addictions with a Gillette Mach 2. I wonder why more crackheads don’t just try this excellent method of detox. It seems to be so much more comfortable than the more conventional weeping and vomiting and convulsions method.

Sayid had a comic book Death by Dishwasher fight in the not safe house, but after that he mostly got a chance to catch up on his rest.

Ben as usual has his spoon in every cooking pot. Once he sends Jack toddling home to pack up his undies, he manages to get Locke put on ice with a creepy Mrs. Lovett kind of butcher lady. For such a socially awkward dweeb, Ben sure has friends everywhere! He screwed up with Hurley though and had to run off to say his prayers before getting a smackdown from the Grand High Mistress of Time Mystery herself, the ivory coiffed Mrs. Hawking.

Mrs. Hawking seems to have truly mastered the synergy between Faith and Science, planting her geotracking math lab in the bowels of an ancient Catholic church.

Hurley was heavily featured in these premiere episodes. It turns out that only Hurley saw the flaws inherent in the stupid, self serving Lie that was concocted on The Searcher. His basic sincerity and goodheartedness has been in constant conflict with The Lie since the day he returned. Nonetheless he is bound and determined to never go back – at least, not if it means he has to go back with Ben. It was good to see Hurley again. Even if we can’t understand what the hell is going on in the plot, Hurley grounds us. No matter how complex Lost gets, they never forget to remind us that Hurley…

… is fat.

Juliet continued to be the most heroic of characters. She was brave, selfless and good. Clearly, she’ll meet a tragic end.

Miles also talks to dead animals. They say “Eat me.”

Charlotte seemed to be embarking on one of those fakey EQ-deficient romances with Daniel, the kind of romance that Lost likes to put its female characters in right before they get killed off.

Daniel’s role in the story increased exponentially in size. He is the skinny tied Tooter Turtle of our story,

the keeper of the Book of Lawz, and as such, has been designated as the character who will keep up the facade that this new time travel fantasy is based in something resembling science. What’s more, Professor Faraday has clearly been a busy boy. My guess is that the scene of him appearing down in the mineshaft, in the opening minutes, takes place in a part of the past that Daniel has not yet visited.

I think his journey to the center of the earth is going to be one of the ongoing story threads of the coming season, because Daniel knows a lot, but he’s still in search of the ultimate answer, the uncaused cause of all this chaos.

Desmond is “uniquely and miraculously special.” He is the living embodiment of Godel’s Incompleteness Theory. The one aberration in the Book of Lawz. This will certainly be spelled out in greater detail as the story unfolds. In New Lost, Desmond has morphed from Odysseus back to the guy who makes his own kind of music.

The shapeshifting of some characters felt like as much of a set up as the laying down of the new time travel lexicon. But as much as I enjoyed watching them set up the board for the new game, I have to admit there was something missing for me. I didn’t really feel anything from any of these characters – except one.

Sawyer seems to be the one character who has survived all this time trippage with his heart and soul intact. When he broke down at the hatch that Daniel wouldn’t let him enter, when he growled “I know what I can’t change”, the despair and the grief that was ravaging him came through like heartbreak. For me, that was the only genuine moment of real emotion in the whole two hours. Sawyer has become more than just the Han Solo of Lost.

He’s becoming the Everyman, the entry point for the audience. He asks normal questions. He worries about normal things, like getting food. He feels real pain and real loss that the sacrifice he made for Kate ended up sending her (he thinks) to her death. Who would ever have guessed in Season One that the emotional heart of this story would ever turn out to be Sawyer?

Of course, Lost being Lost, it’s not as if we weren’t left with dozens of new questions in this episode:

How exactly did the Island’s movement in Time make it impossible to see its location in Space?

WHY does Locke have to die to get the O-Suckers back?

Why will the whole plot fail if Locke isn’t brought with them? Does Locke have some kind of metareligous resurrection waiting for him?

How did people like Richard, Ethan and Tom travel back and forth to the Island so cavalierly in earlier seasons, if the whole thing has suddenly become so confoundedly difficult?

Was it significant that, when Desmond cranked up the anchor on his boat, the chain kept running down?

Is it worth noting that Dr. Chang was wearing a lab coat from The Arrow Station, designated for the development of defensive strategies against the Hostiles, when we have now learned that the weapon of choice for some earlier hostiles was indeed holocaust by flaming arrow?

Was it a coincidence that whenever the Time God did his oogedy boogedy, it looked so much like Smoky?

But most importantly, I’m wondering this: If everything course corrects, if everything happens as it happened and there’s no possibility of interference, why is Mrs. Hawking having such a cow over the possibility that the O6 won’t all go back? Unless that Rule is not true, it doesn’t seem like human intervention is required here.

So, is it true? If nothing can be changed, if everything happens as it must, then wasn’t the escape of the O6 just all part of the grand inalterable scheme? And if they have to go back to make things work out right, then haven’t they, on some other coordinate of the timespace grid, already gone back? What is everyone stressing about? Seems like all they need to do is chill out and let the universe work its will, right? So why is Ben lighting holy candles and saying his prayers?

Obviously the Book of Lawz has a few more chapters left to be studied.

From TVFrenzy:

  • Too Many Pictures

    I forgot your writing style included 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 pictures to break up every other word.

    Now I’m glad you are here and not at that other DARK place.

    Although, I did enjoy your write-up once I got rid of all the pictures. I wish there was an easier way to do it.

    Oh…and this is just constructive criticism…I’m not attacking. :^) <— See? Smiley Face.

  • Jamie

    That was awful

    • docarzt

      Why, Jamie… you have the same IP as our good friend Klaxxon, the one who impersonated one of Fiona’s friends, Zoriah – the same ip of the person who, incidentally, posts a ton of spam links here as well as on other fansites. Intriguing. Looks like we’ll be dumping a lot of spam from this thread tonight then, right? Unless you decide to grow up.

  • Go with the flow

    I’m sensing a negative vibe here my friend.

    I get your frustration at the lack of heart comments, but relax, there’s a hell of a way to go this season.
    The beginnings of the seasons always start by establishing the rules for that coming season without necessarily trying to pull at your heart strings, it’ll only be a matter of time before TPTB have you bawling your eyes out!

    I do worry for you though if you are not liking the Time Travel aspect already, as it seems to be pivotal to the whole concept of Lost, something I think is brilliant, but obviously is starting to divide opinion.

    Bring on the strange and confusing new world I say, I wouldn’t want it any other way…!

  • crixius

    Still wrapping my head around the time stuff – good write up. As long as Darlton remember that the heart of the story is the characters not the scifi stuff, then all will be well

  • hé fish good entry 🙂
    but don’t you think (here it’s my theory lol) the first scene with danny boy wasn’t a fb but a present time, i mean something will see later in the season, maybe the moment where danny boy will get HOW they can stop it, i’ve the feeling it’s not fb but more something we’ll see more this season, like an ff on the past lol if you got me ^^

  • johr77

    well all i can ask is………….
    if everyone on the island dies if they dont come back.

    then will they not still all die, if they do come back?

    seeing as how they stressed the fact that you cant change anything.

  • O

    Lame review. Sorry, but what’s with all the negativity in this recap? Do you even enjoy watching the show, or do you look at every aspect and spin up ways to convey them as negatively as you can for this write-up?

    I’m heading over to Dark’s.

    • docarzt

      Why would you even mention another site, out of hundreds of sites, if you weren’t here being a troll for that site?

    • Desmondismyconstant

      I don’t see negativity as much as whimsy. And what is at Dark’s exactly, other than a copy and paste of jeff jensen’s review. I prefer to go to the source for that, EW. This is not my favorite recap mind you, but I’m glad Doc is offering alternatives.

  • mpl

    I loved this post, and I liked the pictures! Very funny and enjoyable (and understandable, which I greatly appreciated!)

    Hurley doesn’t want to go back to the island???? Uh, the first episode of Season 4, he was telling Jack that they had to go back – that the island wanted them back — “Never say never, Dude!”

    And I don’t understand why “the lie” (lower case) was so terrible — who would have ever believed the truth???? What the heck choice did they have?

    Also I’ve seen several comments in this blog (not just this post) about “Why is the island suddenly invisible because it’s moving through time?” The island has ALWAYS been invisible — unless you approach it, not just at the right time and place, but along a VERY SPECIFIC trajectory. Way back in Season Two Ben tells Locke “God can’t see this island any more than the rest of the world can!”

    Great fun — thanks so much!!

  • clemma

    Love this recap! All the things I “get” from Lost but can’t put into words myself. Very intuitive and accessible.

    I, too, missed the “heart” of Lost. I thought it was great the way they’re moving the story forward but something was missing – it felt flat to me. I’m hoping for some good old tug-at-the-heartstrings storytelling to balance out the sci-fi. That balance has always been what I love about this show.

    Look forward to your future recaps!

    Thanks to you too, Doc.

  • TRoss

    Nicely done. Thank you for clarifing the rules – we’re going to need to know them to get the most of this season. And yeah I agree, the rules might not always make sense, but they’re the rules for this particular show, so you’d better just get used to them.

  • rove3

    Thanks for another great review. I’d much rather read one that offers a different perspective than dozens that only offer the same LOST worshipping mantra. LOST is a great show, one of the best currently out there but it’s not perfect. Thanks Doc for being open to all voices.

    Time travel and sci-fi are not everyone’s cup of tea. EL herself said that the first few episodes would be a little rough on the non-hardcore sci-fi lovers but that it would get smoother. I hope no one jumps ship prematurely. I love all things sci-fi myself and I also love these characters so I’m good either way.

  • Joe

    Not so impressed with the review, and found most of it fairly ridiculous. Such as Sawyer’s stepping on a thorn ultimately leading to the four-toed statue? And Juliet serving as the “most heroic characters?” Are you serious? Your rules for time travel that are used by the writers of LOST I find to be lacking and/or wrong. The one and only thing I agree with you here is that Desmond does appear to satisfy Gödel’s Incompleteness theorem (perhaps the second, in particular), as Faraday did point this out.

    Sadly, I must point you back to your very own posting on TV Guide’s Cover Story review and spoilers. In fact, read that article from the source itself.

    You’ll find some contradictions with what you wrote here.

    • TRoss

      Joe, lighten up. You’re missing the jokes.

  • Annie

    Nicely done Fish. Several things caught my eye.

    The Book of Law. Hum, seems as if Daniel has it but wasn’t that one of the options offered young Locke? Funny that it has morphed into the rules/laws for time travel. Didn’t see that coming, nice catch. A compass was another option and it shows up in this episode as well, as does the knife young Locke actually chose. The fact that Richard gives it to him and Locke fails to recognize it is interesting.

    I am also wondering if the 70 hours they have to return has anything to do with how long they (who ever they are) can keep Locke in the state he is in….the shout out to Expose also makes me think that episode may have been more important than we thought — if only for the buried alive after being bitten by coma inducing spiders part. Maybe there is only a 70 hours window in which to return Locke to the Island or he is dead as in DEAD, rather than dead as in reversible dead.

    I enjoy the pictures; they break up and highlight the points made. I also agree some of the heart was missing but I think these episodes set the stage and put the characters in place for S5; so I am expecting a lot more emotional context in the next few episodes. All and all it was nice to see the entire cast used!

  • Castaway

    Nicely done, Fish! I’ve missed your recaps!

  • Great recap Fish! I love the snarky humour you bring to your insights. It pays not to look at Lost as some sacred cow IMO, but enjoy it as the pop culture/genre/character drama TV show that it is. I adore the Mr Wizard image with Sawyer and Dan, truly hilarious. And where can I get me twin Sawyers?

    I am a huge sci fi fan but even I was rather overwhelmed by this new deeper foray into the intricate mysteries of time travel. I enjoyed the new eps, but I wasn’t blown away by them. I agree that the emotional parts of the eps were few and far between because of their need.

    The whole time-skip thing was pretty cool (making me think of All Good Things from ST:TNG) but a little on the gimmicky side. Like I was seeing the gears turning in the writer’s heads – like when the Beechcraft flew over Locke and crashed dropping a virgin mary within reach I’m sure they were clapping their backs over that one. And Frogurt’s flamey death being preceded by his ranting about having no fire. Sometimes I feel the writers seem to be enjoying the gotchas and meta shout-outs at the expense of a solid, well characterized narrative.

    As for the character relationships and scenes which DID strike a chord:

    1) Sawyer losing it at the hatch. His grief was bubbling over there, to the point that you can see him literally shaking to keep it all in, and Juliet completely understanding and stepping in there to calm him down. That actually got to me, and was a clear indication that the writers want us to realise how great a loss it was to Sawyer that Kate (and the others) might be dead.

    2) Hurley’s guilt about telling the lie and his confession to his mother. For me that was very poignant and moving. His mother not understanding but believing her son, and Hurley finally being able to unburden himself.

    3) Sun’s transformation into a cold-hearted bitch with an agenda. I think she was faking her forgiveness or at least manipulating Kate into a position where she’s more pliable. Her ‘how’s Jack’ just seemed where all the subtext was. As in: I don’t blame you, but….where can I find that bastard Jack so I can rip his heart out with my bare hands.

    Other things:

    I love how the writers had Hurley be the voice of truth and heart in the second ep. He asked how it was protecting the Lefties to lie and the answer was complete rubbish. There is no way in hell that them corroborating Widmore’s lie and pretending his hoax was real would let off those stranded on the island, it doesn’t protect them at all, nor would it make Widmore stop his searching. I think it was made more clear in this ep that the lie was self-serving and more about protecting the six than those left behind.

    Hurley at least has stayed against the lie from the beginning, and it was great to have him reiterate to the audience that it was wrong of them to have lied for all those years, leaving the guys on the island to rot, where ever they were. I was happy that the writers at least acknowledged this, even if they still had Jack and co create the stupidest lie in christendom.

    • Oops meant to say “because of their need to churn out so much exposition”.

  • Snappy recap as always, FishBiscuit! Couple of minor things, though…

    1) Locke didn’t remember the compass because he was like 5 years old when Alpert first showed it to him in Locke’s subjective timeline. How much do you remember from when you were 5? Alpert, though, definitely remembers Locke. He clearly remembered that Locke was another potential Other Lama when Ben went all off the reservation going down the rabbit hole of trying to solve the Island’s fertility issues and was more than happy to see Locke having Most Favored Castaway status from the Island thanks to the whole walking thing. Alpert’s plotting to replace ben w/ Locke started as soon as he knew that, I’m sure.

    2) This *is* a predestination loop with the exception of Desmond and that’s hardly arbitrary on the writers’ part. There’s nothing wrong with that, though…so much of the greatest literature the world has ever known has been predestination loops going all the way back to Aeschylus. But we the audience don’t know any more than the dramatis personnae do what the events of that loop are. And having Des in there as a wild card makes it more interesting. It adds a certain something to scene’s like Hawking’s drilling the idea of course-correction into Des’ head and explains why so much effort has been taken with the manipulation of Des to get him to the Island and put him in place to push the button (or, in one case, fail to) and turn the failsafe key, which is clearly the event that made him that wild card.

    3) No heart? Really? I mean, sure, “Because You Left” was mythology heavy, but “The Lie” gave us a lot of heart in Hurley and his interactions with his family.

    4) I’m totally with you on the idea that the Faraday we saw in the opening sequence in DHARMA coveralls was one who’s more time-slips ahead and in a relatively stable time-slip at that. We’re gonna get Lostaways Gone DHARMA! W00t!

    • Are you another fan of Carmen Reyes? I really loved seeing Hurley’s very normal parents trying to deal with all the craziness. Carmen got one of the funniest lines of the night, but also showed where Hurley gets some of his kindness and compassion from.

      • Actually, yes. I’ve very much enjoyed and sympathized with both of Hurley’s parents. I really felt that David Reyes had redeemed himself by restoring the Camaro and finally staying with Carmen. And Carmen’s always shown great love and concern for Hurley, even in moments of scolding. And Carmen believing Hurley’s insane tale? Pure gold. I welled up a bit there. 🙂

        • Annie

          I’m a fan of Carmen’s as well, she gets some of the best lines. Hurley’s dad stepped up and took Sayid to Jack but I loved that he saw the former O6 hero as a danger to his son and issued a warning. Clearly when Jack called Ben to tell him he had Sayid he also told Ben where to find Hurley. Presto, Ben is in the Reyes’ kitchen. Right or wrong, Hurley had no reason to trust Ben after what Sayid told him and now he has little reason to trust Jack if he finds out Ben is pulling the strings. The Man Behind the Curtain always has a plan.

  • Butterfly_Kate

    Excellent review, Fish! This was a really enjoyable read. I hadn’t had chance to sit down and think about the implications of everything we learned in these episodes, and you really helped me to do that here.

    ‘I think there might be a lot of drunk drivers on Time Street.’ – Too true! I just kept thinking, why can’t we just turn left off Time Street? If going forward and backwards is movement through time, then surely moving sideways is moving through space? I’m thinking in terms of The Man in the High Castle here.

    Also, you’re completely right about Sawyer being the heart of the story. He was the only one I really felt for – although Sun got to me too, through use of her new icy demeanor and flashbacks. I like the time travel and the answers we’re getting, but I need a big slice of character to go with it or there’s nothing to make the roller coaster worthwhile.

  • SayeedIsWhatineed

    hey! that was great! haha i really enjoy reading those.

  • Phrandile

    After watching last week I thought I hated where this season was going to take us. But reading your refreshing review rekindled my love of the show. A lot happened in these episodes and you brought everything back down to earth for me. (I have hope that the quasi-scientific BS will just propel the plot and not stay on center stage.) thanks for this, cheers!

  • gmac777

    From the screen caps that you posted, it does not look like the compass that Richard gave older Locker is the same compass that five-year old Locke picked up. The compass that Richard gave him has a large blue arrow that the other compass does not appear to have. I don’t know if that means anything but it is just something I noticed.

  • marc

    Doc.. i gotta say its unfair for you to accuse everyone who is negative or mentions that other site as a troll or whatever.. i dont comment on either while reading both.. its a community and its a show..

    that being said fishbiscuits comments do sound very negative and as if he is not even enjoyin what he is watching. I find myself getting mad when i read it, because comments like O-suckers.. make it seems like he is just putting down a major plot on the show.. i like how his style of review looks outside the box and doesnt just review the episode.. but he needs to be more clear on whether he likes or hates the show lol.. it does seem like he is tearing it apart most of the time.

  • James

    Great review and its called snark which i appreciate

  • Darbi

    Nice review, Fish!

    I have to admit, I didn’t feel the emotional disconnect you did during the first two episodes, and maybe that’s because I felt Jorge and Josh covered the proper range of emotions and reactions for the entirety of the cast that I didn’t question it.

    My sci fi, fangirl weenie is vibrating in anticipation of this season! LOL! And I’m definitely digging rogue Sun, and where it looks like the writers are taking her character this season. Can’t wait to see how much havoc she’s going to throw into Ben’s plans to get the O-Suck (Hee!) back to the island, while simultaneously underminding Widmore (Pompous tool) hopefully.

  • Heather

    Great review, as always.

  • Michel

    I gotta say, I love your writing style. It’s refreshng to see someone who engages Lost in a critical non-condescending manner and yet has a handful of passionate remarks and ironic bits to go around. Yes, you’re right, the Time Travel thing seems Really convoluted and non-sensical, even for people completely apart from science, like me. Yes, Faraday is there to validate what cannot be validated. Yes, it seems cheap. But I think we can all ejoy it on the assumption that better and more sensible explanations will be shown to us.

    BTW, I’m not sure Desmond is special when it comes to time travel. He’s just the only peson we’ve seen time-traveling. He did that because he had been exposed to a high level of radiation, like Faraday back in Oxford. Faraday isn’t experiencing the effects because he managed to meet his Constant… Desmond Hume. But Charlotte is dying. Why? Maybe because she also had been exposed to high radiation… being from the Island.

    I think you are only able to interact in the past with some specific persons. Desmond interacted with his constant when he was going back and forth. He also interacted with Ms. Hawking. But Ms. Hawking is adamant about not changing the past, so no harm there. But nothing major happened from warning Penny to wait for a phone call for 8 years. Maybe time travelers can interact with their respective constants.

    Who is Faraday’s constant? Desmond. And that’s why Desmond answered the door when Daniel knocked, and not when Sawyer did. But here comes the best part… there is one person who seems to be able to make his consciousness travel in time AT WILL. One who seems to be able to access memories from the future. That person is Locke. When he was a child, Richard presented him several objects… the compass among them… trying to see if Locke could access his future memories. But Locke had too much emotional interference and chose the knife, a wrong object. He wasn’t ready. Later, after the crash, he was able to walk again? Why? Because of the Island’s healing properties? That doesn’t make him special. That happens to everybody. No, the healing is stronger in him, and for a reason… Locke is special. Whatever happens to the rest of the people, happens to him in a stronger way. He has something. And that makes him unique and powerful. I believe he is the one who can dislodge his mind from time AT WILL. The Rules don’t apply to HIM, not Desmond.

  • kevin k.

    while i do appreciate the half humor/half in-depth-analysis slant of these fishbisquit review/recaps, by the end i feel a certain queezy-ness, like (as others have said) i just spent 15 minutes (mostly scrolling past all the photos) reading something by someone who hates the show trying to pass as someone who likes the show. i mean, ragging on some of the basic tenets or most important aspects of the show– why bother watching at all? i just don’t sense any enjoyment there.

    i’ve read reviews/recaps where the writer absolutely hated the episode that showed more appreciation for the show than i get here. seems pretty passive-aggressive (definitely heavier on the aggressive).

    i read one of these fishbisquit things a year or so ago (but didn’t realize till half-way through) and swore i’d never read one again. i’ll just have to renew my pledge.

    good thing there’s plenty of other lost sites to go to.

    and, is snark really a good thing?

    • Michel

      IMO… yes, it is a good thing. Lost is the best thing in the TV, and that’s exactly why we can demand more of it. It’s certainly not without flaws. One of the criticisms I saw in Fish’s site was quite valid: the subpar treatment of most of the fmeale characters. Things like that can should be improved. I also love the always sunny Jensen’s recaps, but there’s a certain “not question anything” thing about it that Fish doesn’t have, and I appreciate the diversity. Sarcasm often comes together with wit and insight, and this is not the exception. Keep it up, man. Maybe you’ll want to cut some slack on the time travel thing until more of the “LAWZ” are provided to us, loyal – but not mindless – fans.

  • Michel

    Oh, and Fish, I can get the lack of emotional presence you felt in Because You Left (every major episode relevant to he mythos is like that in Lost) but I don’t know how you couldn’t feel that in The Lie. Maybe the first hour got you numbed out. Jack and Sayid’s little scene felt like those two guys had shared many experiences together and knew each other well. Sun became the second most dangerously ambiguous character after the S2-S3 Benjamin… and Jorge García had one of his best episodes. There were emotions everywhere. Hell, you could even touch Ben’s nervous fear when Ms. Hawkings tells him the time he has left. He’s virtually desperate. Didn’t you worry about him? I did, and when an episode makes me worry about BENJAMIN LINUS… I know the writers earned their paychecks.

  • Bezmina

    Hi Fish,
    Just wanted to say I didn’t find this really negative, I always like your stuff, you notice things that I miss and I like the pics too. Not meaning to kiss ass here but it seems you got a drubbing and I don’t get why?

    anyway I am watching UK style on a Sunday night buit I shall look forward to reading next weeks review on Monday again.

    Thanks x

  • MoniquE

    I’m so glad I finally found Fishbiscuit in her new home! I didn’t know where she went. I love love LOVE her recaps. I love Lost but I can’t stand the way it’s treated like a church on all the websites. It’s supposed to be fun! Not all of us are in awe of all things sci fi. Lost used to be a show all kinds of fans could enjoy. This review reminds me that it still can be. I like to lighten up and enjoy Lost for the pop culture party that it is, not something I have to bow my head and worship. Thanks Fishbiscuit for keeping it all in perspective, reminding us it’s all just goofy fun. Don’t ever change. And thanks Doc Arzt for bringing some open mindedness to this fandom.

  • iamme

    I really loved this review Fish. And I have to say I did not even think about the connection between Locke suddenly going limp back in Season One, and the fact that in the time travel weirdness he was shot in his leg by Ethan at that very moment. So you blew my mind with that!

    Please keep doing what you are doing. I enjoy it all, I love the pictures, I love the snark, the comedy. Some tend to take Lost too seriously and I am not one of them. Keep bringing the funny along with the informative, thoughtful analysis, it’s a great combo!

  • b

    Good review. I like the photos. They emphasize your points and give the reader a visual look back at the episode, which makes it easier to remember and/or realize some things.

    One answer for you though…

    “Desmond’s nose bled when his 1996 traveled to the future, and Eloise’s brain bled out because of future travel as well. But the reasons for the nosebleeds suffered by Minkowski, Horace Goodspeed and the mineworker don’t lend to easy explanation.”

    Minkowski’s and Horace’s nosebleeds are as easily explainable as Desmond’s.

    Minkowski was consciousness time traveling back to a time when he was on a ferris wheel. Just like Eloise, his brain short-circuited. Cue hemorrhage. Cue nose bleed.

    Dream Horace had a nosebleed because that’s what he looked like when he died. Remember when Ben killed his dad in the Dharma vanagon? As soon as Ben released the gas, Roger’s nose started bleeding. The same thing happened to Horace during the purge (I think he’s actually shown sitting on a bench, post-purge, in The Man Behind the Curtain).

    The mineworker is a little harder to figure. Was it just the energy from the donkey wheel that started the nosebleed? Or did he experience “fast action, extra strength” consciousness time traveling because of how close he was to the energy source?

  • tractorbeams

    I honestly cannot imagine reading a review without caps anymore, you have spoiled me for life!Excellent choice or pics, loved the snarky humour that always informs your recaps and you’ve actually cleared out a few things too. Beautiful work, keep it up!

  • Clementine Phillips

    Opinions are like @$$holes, everybody’s got one. If you don’t like it go read something else. Thank you Doc for sharing your insight. I always look forward to your posts.

  • JOJO

    I have read almost every LOST Season 5 review, listened to all the podcasts and have to say that yours is the best review I’ve read so far. I absolutely agree with you that this is New Lost and lacks the originality and philosophical smartness of Old Lost. I for one, do not care about time travel, especially when events can not be changed. Then why time travel in the first place?
    I knew Lost was in trouble for me when I realized that I was thinking about all the mosquito bites Sawyer must be getting having his shirt off for so long or how it was too bad that Sayid was sleeping through most of the episode, or why Jack has become so uninteresting, or why Kate keeps calling Aaron “baby” (no mom calls their kid “baby”) or how the story unfolds with my least favorite character of all…Farady. Plus, what was so funny about that Hot Pocket scene. Did I miss something? Of course, I’ll continue watching and hope that OLD LOST is found.
    Thanks for your terrific and smart review.

  • JR

    Fish, I really love your insight and the humor that is entwined with it. I was sad when I found out you wouldn’t be at your usual place but ecstatic to find out you had a new home. Keep up the good work and ignore the fanboys who go nuts if someone isn’t drooling over every aspect of the show.

    “If nothing can be changed, if everything happens as it must, then wasn’t the escape of the O6 just all part of the grand inalterable scheme?”

    I’m assuming it isn’t which is why i’m so utterly confused. Introducing the idea of fate/destiny and then claiming there are exceptions is a bit of an oxymoron. I’m very interested in seeing how they’re going to explain all that.

  • Michel

    I’m not a gambling man, but if I had to bet on something, anything on the world, I’d bet that “course correction” rap is utter BS.

  • Leslie

    I’m a Lost Fan, not necessarily a fantatic. I enjoyed this recap and I love reading other people’s theories. On the subject of the “compass”. Most people seem to have the opinion that it is the same compass that Richard gave to young Locke. I thought it was interesting that Older Richard told older Locke “next time you see me, I won’t recognize you” He didn’t say, YOU won’t recognize ME. For some reason that is sticking with me as being an important point. Maybe little Locke DID remember Richard and having knowledge of the future, was rebelling against his destiny. Looking forward to tonights episode.

  • JOhn Burger

    Lil John DID choose the compass–so the reviewer remembers that wrong

    What I find is very interesting and maybe a fudging of the storytelling due to cambells return to abc is Richard met Ben in the jungle which was without a doubt a costume from the Black Rock—yet here he is in 1954 in regular clothes so I dont think there is any doubt that these scenes with Richard were not conceived of as of season 3

    I also actually believe that Richard at Lockes birth may have originally been about Time Travel–but was switched to the revelation in Jughead(john instructs richard to visit him)

  • JOhn Burger

    What Im getting at is many fanatics just cant comprehend storytelling on a long running PT series. They seem to think it all has to be preplanned or its bunk. But whats bunk is thinking it could ever be all preplanned. Its a fluid process

  • Finli Otego

    Nice review, Fish. I’ve always enjoyed reading yours in particular. Even if I don’t agree with everything in them, they’re still great. Keep ’em coming. 🙂

  • Nik

    As hard as it may be to believe, but Daniel talking to Desmond didn’t implant a new memory into future Desmond. At the point where Desmond “remembers” the incident, he is three years ahead of Daniel. There is absolutely no connection between the event and the point of time Desmond remembers.

    Assuming Daniel could actually change time, he changed time to a new time line, where Desmond has always known. Alternatively imagine he was somehow “pulled” from the old to the new timeline. In that case a sudden memory would be feasible. But why would that pull happen three years in the future? If anything it would be feasible happened at the same “synchronized life times” of Daniel and Desmond, that is a day or two after Desmond left.

    The only thing the point where Daniel talked to Desmond, and Desmond remembering have in common, is the broadcasting order, which means nothing. So, yes, they’ve always talked, but Desmond just didn’t remember. Or, sleeping Desmond and hazard suit Desmond switched places for a few minutes.