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Lost, April 11 April 12, 2007

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Episode Title: “One of Us”

Jack is back, and he has company. Now Juliet is left behind with the castaways, and they are not happy. No one except Jack trusts her, and with good reason. Sayid wants to know who she is, what she does, and Jack is protecting her.

It seemed Juliet was left behind by the Others, and chained to Kate, as punishment, but that would be too easy a plot. Turns out she was planted by Ben — as was Claire’s mystery illness Juliet cures to gain their trust. We always knew Ben was a master at mind games, but he outdoes himself this week, orchestrating the whole thing. Heck, he may have arranged to have the tumor in his body for all I know.

In her flashback scenes, we see how Juliet goes to work for the Others as a researcher for biotech company. She drinks drugged orange juice, presumably to survive the bumpy ride, and wakes up on the submarine at the island. There, she meets Ben, who plays some serious head games with her.

She was supposed to have been on the island six months, but is shown in bed with Goodwin after three years! Ben tells Juliet her sister will die, then three years later tells her she is alive and shows her playing with her son.

You do get to see the plane crash from the Others’ vantage point, and Ben tells Ethan and Goodwin their job’s to get information on the passengers. So, does Ben arrange for the plane to go down, knowing Claire is on board, so he can finish his tests? That’s one theory.

So Juliet has saved the day, and has earned some of the castaways’ trust. But it is revealed how Ben planned to leave her behind and tells her they will be back in a week.

Grade: B

— Stalked by Hal Morris

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Lost, March 28 March 29, 2007

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Episode title: “Expose”

Jeez, I guess Kate and Sawyer aren’t the worst people on the island, even towards each other. This week, we get to find out about the new castaways, Nikki and Paulo. To open, Nikki comes running out of the jungle, where Hurley and Sawyer are playing Ping-Pong (still), and collapses. And it’s funny Sawyer doesn’t know her name, or Paolo’s.

Pre-plane crash, Nikki is acting in a show called “Corvette” and gets shot by Lando Calrissian, I mean Billy Dee Williams, during a scene. She kisses some old producer dude, and goes home with him, where Paolo is the cook at his home. Nikki and Paolo poison the guy and rob him blind.

They’re baaaaccckkkk

Lots of old characters making appearances this week. Boone and Shannon have some comebacks in the scenes in the airport before the plane takes off, along with Ethan, among others. When the plane crashes and everyone is helping each other out, they are more concerned with the bag of diamonds they stole. While in the jungle, they come across the plane, which has Ecko’s brother and all the heroin, and were one of the first to find the hatch.

Paolo finds the bag of diamonds and hides it in the hatch, which we know later explodes. In the hatch, he sees Ben and Juliet and hides and finds the walkie-talkies the Others use. They are watching Jack on a monitor and discuss him doing Ben’s surgery.

Darn those spiders

Paolo goes with Nikki, Locke, etc., to the hatch and gets the diamonds. Nikki finds out Paolo has the diamonds and is determined to get them back, so she asks Sawyer for a gun, which he doesn’t give her. Nikki throws a paralyzing spider on him to get the diamonds back, but then is bitten by one and is then herself paralyzed. Turnabout is fair play, I guess.

When Sawyer, Hurley and Jin find Paolo later, they find the walkie-talkie and suspect the two of being part of the Others. Desmond said he saw Sawyer and Nikki together before she died. Hurley gets suspicious of Sawyer, thinking he may have killed Nikki and Paolo. Sawyer found the diamonds near where Paolo was.

But now, thinking Nikki and Paolo dead, they are buried alive. But in a nice bit of irony, Sawyer throws the diamonds into the grave with them. That was the only cool part of the episode, that and Sawyer not knowing their names.

In a lesser storyline, Sun discusses her attempted kidnapping, thinking it was the Others. But Charlie confesses it was him and Sawyer that tried to kidnap her.

This episode did absolutely nothing except get rid of a couple of useless characters.

Grade: C

— Stalked by Hal Morris

Lost, March 21 March 22, 2007

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Episode title: “Bring Me The Man From Tallahassee”

This week’s episode was particularly good, on several fronts.

So who was the biggest source of pain in Locke’s life? Yep, dear old dad. So who caused Locke to be in that wheelchair he no longer needs on the island? Yep, dear old dad.

So Jack is living with and playing nice with the Others. Kate, Locke and Sayid see him playing football and shaking hands with Ben.

But Kate still wants to rescue Jack. They sneak into Jack’s home and she sees him playing the piano. She’s thrilled to see him, but puzzled at why he was playing catch. Jack tells her to leave but the Others burst in and nab her and Sayid.

Jack goes to see Kate after she is captured. Jack says he isn’t one of the Others — he isn’t with anyone. Jack said he made a deal to set him free first thing in the morning, but says he will come back for Kate.

Locke, meanwhile, gets into Ben’s room, holding him — and later his daughter, Alex — at bay with a gun. Locke tells Ben to go for the submarine (a submarine? First I’ve hard of this) — the one they travel to and from the island. How did Locke know they had a submarine?

Anyway, two of the Others come into Ben’s room, and Locke hides with Alex. He then overhears Ben tell one of the Others to bring him “the man from Tallahassee.”

Locke is surprised when Ben can tell him a bunch about his life, including why he was in a wheelchair, and that he would walk when he hit the island.

Now we get to Locke’s flashback scenes.

A man named Peter Talbott appears at Locke’s door to talk to him about Talbott’s mother, and the man she is dating, Locke’s father. Locke blows him off, but later sees his dad at the florist with the lady getting wedding flowers. Locke wants his dad to nix the wedding plans or he will tell the lady who his father really is.

Later, the FBI comes to see Locke about Talbott, who they say is dead. Locke confronts his father, who then pushes him out of a window eight stories up, and Locke is paralyzed from the fall.

Back to the present: Locke asks for his pack that Sayid was carrying — no one asks why. Locke then escapes. As Jack is preparing to leave the island — on the submarine — Locke is there and blows up the submarine with the C4 explosives he was carrying in his pack. Now no one can leave the island.

Locke is then brought back to the camp, thinking he never has to leave the island again and see his father. Well surprise, because the man from Tallahassee is none other than Papa Locke himself.

Grade: A-

— Stalked by Hal Morris

Lost, March 15 March 16, 2007

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Claire, like Gilligan so many times, has a plan to get the castaways off the island. Oh, and a big part of her history is revealed, too.

Claire says she knows how to get everyone off the island — tagging birds with a message so when they are found, the castaways can be rescued. But Desmond scares off the birds by “shooting at a boar,” he says. And Charlie pooh-poohs Claire’s idea, and she gets mighty upset, thinking he and Desmond are sabotaging the plan. But Desmond knew the bird wouldn’t fly, and goes to get it on the beach.

There, she confronts Desmond, who reveals to Claire that Charlie is going to die, and where. Now, for some reason, Claire is drawn to the doomed Charlie.

And she gets the flashback treatment this week, with some shocking revelations. Well — not really shocking.

A brunette Claire, who looks very Goth, was in an accident and put her mother in a coma. Her mother’s hospital bills have been taken care of — by a confidential source. Which, of course, turns out to be Jack’s father. And hers.

It was alluded to in an episode last season — at least I thought it was what’s going to come later — but Claire is Jack’s half-sister!!!!

Their meeting does not go well, and everyone knows he ended up a drunken mess before dying.

Claire then tells her coma-doomed mother she is sorry for the accident. She also reveals she is pregnant and is giving it away, which of course she doesn’t.

In this week’s secondary story: Kate, Locke, Sayid and the rest are continuing their search for the Others’ camp to rescue Jack. Eye-patch guy is giving very vague answers about how and why and when he got here, but said he knows Locke. They come to a field with a giant electric fence.

Eye-patch guy is thrown through the fence by Locke and dies. Locke just gives a nice “sorry.” So they decide to go over the fence instead of getting fried like Eye-patch guy. They make it over, and discover the Other’s camp. They see Jack playing football with Tom, and he appears to have become one of the Others.

Oh, and Sawyer, who is forbidden from calling anyone by a nickname? He just sat there and read “The Fountainhead,” by Ayn Rand.

Grade: B

— Stalked by Hal Morris

Lost, March 7 March 9, 2007

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Episode title: “Enter 77”

Finally, an episode of “Lost” that makes sense and doesn’t raise more questions.

Last week, Kate set out to find Jack, with Locke and Sayid in tow.

So, this week, Locke, Kate, Sayid and Rousseau are searching for the Others’ home. While looking for food, Sayid comes across a house, with the eye-patched man the group saw on one of the Dharma monitors in an earlier episode. But the eye-patch man shoots Sayid in the shoulder, thinking he was one of the Others.

The man says he is the last living member of the Dharma initiative and has been on the island for 11 years. He said the Dharma initiative members all died when they initiated a war against the “hostiles,” presuming these are the Others. The man survived by not participating in it. He was offered a truce by the “hostiles.”

Sayid thinks he is one of the Others, and he and the one-eye man fight and Sayid knocks him out. Sayid finds a bunch of Dharma manuals, one of which reveals where the Others may live.

Locke plays chess against the computer, and seems very caught up in it and wins, when the man from the Dharma movies appears on screen. But the one-eyed man escapes and puts a knife to Locke’s throat.

Kate is attacked by a woman, one of the Others who was at the dock when Jack, Kate and the rest were captured. Kate and Sayid subdue her and take her outside, where the one-eyed man has a gun to Locke’s head. It’s very “Reservoir Dogs” at this point. But the one-eyed man ends up shooting the woman, and it is revealed he is a member of the Others.

Flashback of the week

Sayid is the winner.

He’s working in a restaurant and is approached by an Iraqi man who wants him to work in his restaurant. But the man is really after Sayid for what he did to his wife when he was with the Iraqi Republican Guard. So he is chained up and beaten. The woman tells Sayid all she wants is for him to acknowledge what he did, which he does, and is forgiven.

So, back to the present: Sayid decides not to kill the man. Locke enters “77” into the computer in case of an incursion by the hostiles, and the place blows up.

And Sayid sees the cat the woman he tortured was holding.

This weeks’ side story

Sawyer wants all of his stuff back that was taken when he was captured. So he plays Hurley in a game of Ping-Pong for his possessions. If Sawyer loses, he can’t call anyone by a nickname for a week. That’s about as bad as when Beavis and Butthead weren’t allowed to laugh. Sawyer loses badly, naturally. But Hurley gives Sawyer back some of his magazines.

Review

So, we are making progress of some sort. No big back stories that raise more questions, just ones that help explain why people are the way they are. But after blowing up the house, you have to know the Others are aware the group is coming for them.

— Stalked by Hal Morris

Lost, Feb. 28 March 1, 2007

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Episode title: Tricia Tanaka is Dead

This week

“Lost” finally got back to why “Lost” was great in the first place. It was funny, poignant and mysterious all at once. Definitely the best episode since the series returned.

This week’s episode centered on Hurley and his lack of hope on the island.

So Hurley is out working on a car. And sweet — Cheech Marin plays his father! And tells him to always believe and good things will happen.

But he goes to Vegas, never to be seen again.

Flash to the present, and Hurley is at Libby’s grave, telling about being caught by the Others, and how scared everyone is.

Charlie tells him Desmond said he’s going to die, and naturally Charlie is a bit freaked out. Hurley said he’s cursed and it may be his fault. Vincent the dog comes out of the jungle with a skeletal arm with keys and a rabbit foot on it. Yuck! Hurley gives chase, and Hurley sees a crashed van!?!?! He and Jin got to check it out, pull the driver out and accidentally knock his head off. There’s the funny.

In his flashback, Hurley has just won the lottery and goes to Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Shack. And he tells Tricia Tanaka, the reporter, about all the bad luck he’s had since winning the lottery — hilarious. And of course, she goes into the restaurant right when a meteor destroys the restaurant, killing her. So, there’s how you get the title. Hurley goes back home, covered in debris, and his grandmother slaps him for saying he’s cursed.

Hurley says he has to go to Australia, since that’s where the numbers came from. But all of a sudden, Cheech is back. Hurley saves his dad’s old car, which shows why he’s so stoked about getting this car on the island up and running. He says all everyone needs is hope.

Hurley goes to a psychic, who tell him “there’s darkness around these (lottery) numbers. Great tragedy.” He gets the death card and says it surrounds him and more is coming. Turns out his dad put the psychic up to it. That’s when Hurley decides to go to Australia, but his dad tells him to give away the money.

Back on the island, Hurley goes to Charlie, who is in a funk over Desmond’s prediction, gives him a good slap and, ala “Moonstruck” tell him to snap out if it. Sawyer, meanwhile, is teaching Jin some English: “I’m sorry,” “you’re right” and “those pants don’t make you look fat.” Classic Sawyer.

So Jin, Hurley, Charlie and Sawyer get the van pushed to the edge of a hill and want to drive down it — with Charlie riding shotgun. It appears they’re heading for a certain death until the clutch pops and the van gets going. The four go for a ride. And for one day, at least, Hurley can have hope.

In a secondary story: Kate and Sawyer are on their way back and have “the talk” about their tryst on the Others’ island. They appear back with the rest of the castaways. Sawyer is ticked because his stuff is gone, but Hurley is thrilled Sawyer’s alive. Sawyer, of course, gets good lines. Kate says she’s going to get Jack.

She leaves. Locke and Sayid have followed. They are shot at by Rousseau, who wants them to help him find the Others’ camp.

Summary

This week’s didn’t solve too many mysteries, but at least no new ones were presented it got back ot the funny, which is easy when Hurley and Sawyer are on screen.

Grade: B+

— Stalked by Hal Morris

Lost, Feb. 21 February 23, 2007

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Previously on “Lost”: Desmond was the focus and we saw his flasbhack as well as a flashback within a flashback. It was nice to have only one storyline to follow, for a change.

This week’s episode title: “Stranger in a Strange Land”

This week’s episode of “Lost”: Three big mysteries were supposed to be revealed in this week’s episode. Well, one was: The meaning of Charlie’s tattoos!

I mean, what the … ????

All these storylines and this is what we get. The last two weeks — at least you got a payoff for a weird story. This week’s was just awful.

The episode centered on Jack, who is still being held on the Others’ island.

In Jack’s flashback, he’s on an island somewhere in Asia (Thailand, I think) and gets help flying his kite from a woman (Bai Ling). So Jack hooks up with the woman for a month and wonders if she’s a hooker. Turns out, she’s a tattoo artist.

She says she has a “gift”: She’s able to see what people are and can mark them accordingly. She tells Jack he’s a leader, a great man, and he makes her mark him accordingly, with reluctance, of course, because everything has to be mysterious.

“There will be consequences,” she says.

“There always are,” is his response.

So what do Jack’s tattoos say: “He walks amongst us but he’s not one of us.”

I know — just like on the Others’ island. So we can assume he’ll never become one of the Others.

Jack goes from his holding cell to one of the cages outside. At the same time, Juliet has been captured and is put in Jack’s old room for helping Kate and Sawyer escape.

Juliet comes and tells Jack Ben isn’t doing well and asks Jack for help, and he refuses.

Later, Jack says Juliet says she didn’t ask him to kill Ben.

One of the kidnapped passengers returns, along with the children who were taken, and says they are here to watch because Juliet is supposed to be executed for killing Danny. However, Jack trades her life for continuing to care for Ben. Instead, she had a symbol burned into her back.

Juliet tells Jack they have to leave the island to go “back to where they live,” since the castaways know where the Others live. So they take off for God knows where.

In the lesser storyline: Kate, Sawyer and Carl are sailing back to their island after escaping the Others. Kate makes Sawyer go back for Jack, but Sawyer says no.

Later, they find Carl crying because he has issues with Alex. In true Sawyer fashion, he slugs Carl and tells him to “cowboy up.” Sawyer always gets the best lines. Sawyer tells him to go back to get Alex, but Carl says they would kill him if he goes back. Nothing really of importance happens here, except Sawyer and Kate have sexual tension.

There’s a new one.

All-in-all, a pretty bad episode, full of nothing much.

Grade: D

Next week: Hurley discovers a wrecked car on the island.

— Stalked by Hal Morris

Lost, Feb. 14 February 15, 2007

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Episode title: Flashes Before Your Eyes

Well, guess Charlie is the next castaway to go on “Lost.” At least, that’s how Desmond sees it. And this week’s episode shows that what Desmond sees, he can only stop for so long.

Rule No. 1 on “Lost”: Don’t assume you know what’s going on until the end.

This week’s episode deals with Desmond Hume, who was in the hatch when the victims of Oceanic Flight 815 first crashed. It has more of his back story.

Now, all of a sudden, Desmond can sense danger! He is acting strangely in the jungle with Locke and Sayid, and takes off running into the ocean to rescue Claire, who was drowning. He saves her life, just as he did earlier when a storm hit the island and he protected her tent.

Or so we’re led to believe. It?s early in the show, so everything is confusing.

Hurley says Desmond “can see the future, dude.” Or maybe he can just sense danger when it comes to Claire!!! Who knows? This show is so weird. And how does Claire get a brand-new hairstyle on a deserted island?

Anyway…

Charlie gets Hurley to help figure out what is going on. So they get Desmond drunk on whiskey — well, they all get pretty tanked — and Charlie tries to get the truth out of him about how he knew Claire was drowning. Desmond said he could hear Claire call for help despite being a mile away at the time. Charlie calls him on it. Desmond gets offended and walks off. Charlie calls him a coward, the Desmond attacks Charlie and says he doesn’t want to know how he is doing it.

Which, of course, leads to a flashback.

During the flashback scene of when the hatch exploded, Desmond turns a key and says “I love you, Penny.” So naturally the flashback needs a flashback to when Desmond was in the real world and living with his girlfriend, Penny Widmore, who was shown at the end of last season. He had fallen and red paint was everywhere.

Or was it a flashback?

In the flashback’s flashback, Desmond is going for a job with Penny’s father, and a microwave makes the same sound as the hatch time clock when it as ticks down.

Penny’s father (“The O.C.’s” Alan Dale) offers him a job, but Desmond instead tell him he wants to marry Penny. Mr. Widmore then insults him. He tells him one drink of the whiskey — the same brand Desmond, Charlie and Hurley drink on the island — he did not offer Desmond is worth more than he could make in a month. Which explains why Desmond laughed when Charlie offered it.

Insulted, Desmond leaves the office and sees Charlie playing on the street corner. He remembers him from the hatch, even though that hasn’t happened yet.

OK, this is very confusing. Is it a flashback inside a flashback or not? Or are there two Desmonds?

Desmond goes to get an engagement ring for Penny, but the lady at the jewelry store, Ms. Hawking, won’t let him buy it. She tells him to give the ring back, telling him he will have second thoughts and to walk out the store. She knows his name, and tells him how his future will unfold, from his not asking Penny to marry him to going on the sailing race that leads him to the island in the first place, to when he turns the key as the hatch explodes.

“And if you don’t do these things, Desmond David Hume,” she says, “every single one of us is dead. So give me that sodding ring.”

Nice lady!

Desmond thinks it’s all his subconscious. Hawking tells Desmond the universe has a way of “course-correcting” and that his path is to go to the island. And pushing the button is the only great thing he’ll ever do. Desmond then realizes he can’t go through with marrying Penny and ends the relationship.

When he turned the key, his life flashed before his eyes, then he was back in the jungle, still on the island. So evidently Desmond saved Charlie twice by seeing the future, as Charlie dies while trying to save Claire. So Desmond tell Charlie that no matter what he does to stop it, Charlie is going to die.

The one saving grace for this episode was that it was the only plotline viewers had to keep up with. But I was expecting a little more, with 16 brand-new episodes. All the new plotlines and subplots are starting to bog things down.

Grade: B-minus

— Stalked by Hal Morris

Lost, Feb. 7 February 9, 2007

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If you don’t know what “Lost” is about, you’re way to late in the game for a recap. This show is so confusing and seems to have no end in sight, with more and more questions popping up all the time. This week’s episode was no different.

When we last left our castaways, Jack had to operate on Ben, the leader of The Others, to remove a tumor. Jack was to be executed and Mr. Eko had died.
Three main plotlines dominate this week’s show.

* The return opens in a flashback scene, with Juliet alone on the beach and giving an injection to her sister to get her pregnant at their home in Miami before zapping back to the present in the operating room with Jack, Juliet and Ben, the leader of The Others.

In Juliet’s back story, she is a doctor who is stealing medicine, presumably for her ill sister. She is busted by her boss and ex-husband. She later is caught taking prescriptions for her sister and her ex/boss, who blackmails her into letting him take some of the credit for her work in cutting-edge science. He’s pretty much a slimeball.

Juliet is being courted by a research company to lead a project, but turns it down. Come to find out, Juliet’s sister is pregnant due to the drugs she had been giving her. Well, Juliet is no longer being blackmailed because her ex/boss just got drilled by a bus after she told him about the pregnancy.

Ethan, one of The Others, is in the flashback in the morgue as a colleague of the man who offered Juliet the research job. Figure this is how she became one of The Others, and find out they arranged for the bus accident.

* Jack is threatening to kill Ben if Kate and Sawyer aren’t released. Of course Sawyer beats the crap out of Danny and they escape, but Juliet orders they be caught, dead or alive.

Jack reveals Juliet asked Jack to kill Ben on the operating table, and is thrown out of the operating room by Tom, aka Mr. Friendly. As Jack is operating on Ben, he calls for Juliet to come back.

When they are alone, Ben and Juliet are talking but you can’t hear what is being said. Juliet is obviously upset. Juliet asks Jack to finish the surgery so she can help Sawyer and Kate escape.

Complications arise as Jack finishes Ben’s surgery, but he comes through it. Juliet returns and tells Jack that Ben told her if she let him live and helped Jack, she could go home.

* Kate and Sawyer get to the beach of the island of The Others, but are followed and shot at by Danny and another Other before being rescued by Alex Rousseau, a former Other. She makes them go back to get her boyfriend, Carl.

The scene at one of the Dharma Initiative sites has a “Return of the Jedi” vibe to it, and Sawyer, always the jokester, even goes for a “Wookie prisoner” joke when they ambush the guard. They get into the facility and get into the room where Carl is being kept with this bizarre film straight out of “Clockwork Orange.” Carl has these weird neon glasses on as he watches the films, and it is just very odd. Carl is almost comatose.

The four of them make it to the beach and Rousseau’s boat. Danny shows up, but is shot and killed by Juliet. She allows Kate and Sawyer to leave but not Alex. She talks to Jack on the walkie-talkie and Jack makes her promise never to come back to the island for him. I’m sure that will happen. Kate, Sawyer and Carl leave the island for their island.

For 90 percent of the episode, I was underwhelmed, but the end was terrific and you understand why Juliet did what she did.

There never seems to be any rhyme or reason to this show, and this week’s episode was no different. But I’m sure in time everything will be revealed, all the while asking more questions.

Grade: B

— Stalked by Hal Morris