The Universe and Me

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lost : Through the looking glass part 1

Lost. 3.22. The flashback was really a flash forward. While on a plane, Jack sees a newspaper obituary that makes him want to jump off a bridge. Seeing him about to, some woman driver is distracted and a car smashes hers. Jack hears screams and gives up his death to once again be a hero. His pregnant ex-wife visits him in the hospital, but she won’t even give him a lift home. Great choice of a spouse, there. Jack wants to operate on the injured woman, but she’s not his patient and the hospital is aware of his “issues.”

On the island, suddenly Jin speaks English. Naomi shows Jack how her phone works. Rose reminds Bernard that he’s a dentist, not Rambo. The Others sneak into the beach camp. Two dynamite explosions kill a bunch of them but Jin, Bernard and Sayid are captured. The hikers, not hearing the third explosion, know something’s wrong. Kate wants to go back. Sawyer sulks for a while until he decides he, without Kate, will go back. Juliet says she knows where some guns are and she’ll help him and her karma. En route, he asks her why they were breaking rocks. I couldn’t tell if she was joking when she said they’re building a runway, but she did lie about the guns. There are none. Hurley’s followed them and offers to help. Sawyer puts him down, saying he’ll get in the way and off Hurley goes, dejected again.

Greta and Bonnie beat up Charlie who jokes that he arrived in an invisible submarine. The girls, in a room with a blinking yellow light, break radio silence to call Ben who sends Patch who questions why Ben previously told them the Looking Glass was flooded. Ben admits to lying. Charlie admits he’s there to turn off the jamming equipment. Only three people know the code: the girls and the programmer. Desmond wakes from his nap to find Patch shooting at him. He dives to the Looking Glass and evades the girls and hides. When Patch/Cyclops scuba’s in, he asks the girls why Ben told them it was flooded. Bonnie answers they’ve done everything for the island. They trust Jacob. The island is under assault and it’s for everyone’s security. Ben asks Patch to “help clean up this mess I’ve made” by shooting Greta, Bonnie and Charlie.

Ben decides to go for a walk. Alex asks to go with which he considers a good idea. That way he can hand her over to her new/old family. He admits he did what he did to Carl because he didn’t want Carl to get her pregnant and overreacted. Alex wonders why they don’t just let the Lostaways leave. Ben says they can’t. Locke regains consciousness but can’t move. He’s ready to shoot himself when he sees Walt (who’s mysteriously aged, as opposed to Richard who never ages.) Walt tells him that he has work to do. Best line: Rose to Jack: “If you say live together, die alone to me, I’m gonna punch you in the face.”

Sunday, May 27, 2007

24 : 5 - 6 a.m.

24. 6.24. Chloe downplays her illness. A thermal scan of the platform proves it’s the group they’re after because who else would be out there at that hour of the morning? The government decides to launch an air strike, despite the fact that little Josh won’t survive it. One innocent kid has to be written off as an acceptable loss. It’s not acceptable to Jack. Bill accompanies him as he commandeers/steels a helicopter. Nadia uploads info on how many hostiles and where to Jack’s handy PDA. Papa Bauer can’t believe Josh is behaving like a child. Next time he should kidnap someone his own age. Josh hits him with a wrench, takes his gun and shoots him as Jack arrives on the scene. Jack sends Josh back to the chopper. There’s no time for him to carry Papa Bauer back. He must be left to die in the explosive air strike.

Jack jumps to the chopper as everything blows up. One destroyed platform makes it seem likely enough the circuitboard has been destroyed, so the Russians back off. Gullible much? Jack drops from the chopper into the ocean and swims to shore. He has his jack sack/purse, so we’re certain he’ll be fine. The VP drops charges against Karen and Bill, allowing them to resign with their reputations in tact. Chloe is pregnant. “With child?” Morris asks. No, with a laptop. Better question might be who’s the father? Cheng’s in CTU custody but is sure his people won’t abandon him the way Jack was. Jack’s gone off for a showdown with Heller who knows Jack can’t walk away from work and Audrey will end up paying the price. As if she hasn’t already. Series ends with Jack walking off into the sunrise. Yawn.

Friday, May 25, 2007

24 : 4 - 5 a.m.

24. 6.23. Ricky’s confident they’ll recover Josh as soon as they have the circuitboard because they’ve jabbed a tracking device in him. The tracker made me seriously wonder if Josh would see the light of day with all of his limbs. Jack convinces Karen that Papa Bauer is planning to manipulate the exchange. She enlists Bill’s help. Papa Bauer demands CTU turn off its satellite feed. Josh’s tracker is on an internal monitor, so they’ll still be able to see where he is. Nadia passes along the security code to Karen so she can view the transaction. Thinking it might make some of the viewers care about her, Marilyn throws a hissy fit. A car forces Turner, who’s taking Jack into custody, off the road. Turns out it’s Bill who demands Jack’s release as Jack’s sneaking up behind Turner. He didn’t have to ask twice.

Some guy named Stewart, or Stuart, saunters into CTU and receives a sympathetic hug from Chloe. He’s Milo’s brother, possibly adopted because they look nothing alike, who disappears as quickly as he appears and left us wondering what the point was. Karen’s access is shut down and she’s about to be arrested. But she’s learned to never negotiate with a sociopath. A couple guys in a boat interrupt Ricky and Josh’s picnic. One hands Ricky the subcircuitboard. As he’s verifying it, the thing blows up in his face. Jack and Bill arrive but Josh has been spirited away in the boat and his tracker removed. Jack’s sure the boat must be meeting up with a larger vessel and this is a really convenient time for him to remember Papa Bauer owns some oil platform. Chloe collapses. Quote of the hour: “It blew!” Yeah, kind of like season 6.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Lost : Greatest hits

Lost. 3.21. The brief flashbacks concerned some of Charlie’s fondest memories in life. Learning to swim. Hearing Drive Shaft’s song on the radio. Liam giving him a family heirloom. Saving a woman, who turned out to be Nadia, from a mugger. And meeting Claire. It’s the learning to swim one, and subsequently saying he was the junior swim champ of Northern England, that is confusing because he said on at least two other occasions that he didn’t know how to swim. Either the writers have given up on continuity, or Charlie lies.

Jack informs the Lostaways that, thanks to Juliet, they know the Others are coming tomorrow. Hiding is pointless. He’s enlisted Rousseau’s help in bringing dynamite to place in the tents the Others will search. They don’t know that Ben told his camp Locke had an accident and Jacob wants the raid to happen now. If Juliet isn’t ready, they’ll take all the women. If any Lostaway men get in the way, they’ll kill them. Hearing this, Alex runs to Carl who canoes over to inform the beach camp. Jack decides to lead all but three people up to the radio tower. The three left behind will serve as dynamite shooters. At the radio tower, they’ll try send a message to Naomi’s freighter. Juliet says the Others are jamming all frequencies with the Looking Glass hatch. She’s never been there. Some accident occurred and the station was flooded, but it still works. Isn’t that convenient?

Charlie’s pleased to hear from Naomi (who is from Manchester now?) that Drive Shaft’s career was resurrected after his “death,” and sort of pleased to hear that Desmond’s latest future flash involved Claire and the baby leaving the island via helicopter. Sort of, because Charlie has to die for it to happen. He must switch off a blinking yellow light in a hatch, but drowns doing so. When Jack asks for volunteers to dive to the Looking Glass, Charlie knows it’s his fate. Never mind that, since the Looking Glass is connected to the island by a cable, it would be much easier to cut the cable. Desmond goes with to help paddle, or something, and ends up offering to take Charlie’s place, for which he gets a whack upside the head. Charlie swims down to the hatch and finds a room with air and a couple women with guns who start shooting at him. Quote of the episode: “Why does everything have to be such a secret?”

Thursday, May 17, 2007

24 : 3 - 4 a.m.

24. 6.22. As the Chinese herd the CTU staff off into a holding room, inexplicably rather than killing them, Jack, Nadia and Morris fight back and, surprise, win. Reasoning that he knows the building’s schematics better than anyone, Jack’s sure he can find the kidnappers. He traces them through the sewers from which they came. Back in the refinery, Grandpa Stretch calls to talk with and apologize to Josh who hasn’t forgotten he was about to kill him. Stretch says he was merely being convincing so he could escape. He really wants to protect Josh by taking him away from this ungrateful country. He seems to think China will appreciate them more. Jack sees the Chinese getaway car and starts to shoot so they have to evacuate. He chases them up to the roof. Cheng runs out of bullets but Josh has fallen and is hanging by a chain so Jack has to save him while Cheng escapes.

And then CTU sets up a perimeter. Um, late much? After finding out Papa Bauer is still involved, Jack realizes they must find out where he is. Meanwhile they Russians are on the move. Bishop nearly accesses Lisa’s PDA but suspicion or something makes him hesitate long enough for Lisa to go ballistic about his betrayal and smash him over the head with a wine bottle, then a lamp. Tom and the Secret Service crew move in just before Bishop strangles Lisa, but not before oxygen to her brain was compromised. Tom forces Bishop to send the Russians e-mail. Papa Stretch is unimpressed with Cheng’s operational incapacities and refuses to give him the circuit board. He’s not afraid of threats, either.

Division sends Ben to assess the security breach. Nadia feels guilty about Milo’s death. In a conference with the VP, Subaru wants proof the subcircuit board was destroyed. When VP can’t provide it, Subaru says he knows Bishop sent fake material because he was under surveillance. If the Russians don’t have the board back in two hours, they’ll attack. Papa Bauer calls VP on a scrambled line. He wants Josh and a clear passage out of the country in exchange for the board. Someone mentions how there may be more Russian generals besides the late Gredenko involved in this mess of a plot. Ricky takes Josh as three guys hold back Jack. Only three? It’s been a long day, indeed. Still no word on the fate of either Logan.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Lost : The Man Behind the Curtain

Lost. 3.20. Flashback to Emily and Roger out for a hike just outside Portland. Emily enters early labour and gives birth. Her dying words, “Call him Benjamin.” So Ben wasn’t born on the island after all. His father, Roger, brought him there as a boy. Roger signed up to work for the Dharma Initiative sometime in the 1960s, it seems from the “Welcome to the island, man.” He’s none too pleased to be a janitor, as he didn’t come there to clean up after them. The DI group skirmishes with the natives and Roger really didn’t sign up for that. He demands more money. The child Ben, who Roger blames for killing Emily, sees her several times, once on the opposite side of the sonar fence. She warns him it’s “not time yet.” Ben uses the code to get past the sonar. After voices start whispering, Richard, who appears the same age as the present, appears. When Ben is maybe ten years older, he accompanies his father on a run to the Pearl Station. They decide to drive the hippy van to the mesa for some father-son time. Cue “Shambala.” Ben feels he’s put up with Roger long enough and gasses him to death. When he returns to the village, everyone there has met the same fate. Ben, Richard and the hostiles have purged the DI.

Real time: Ben’s concerned the tape he recorded for Juliet is missing, so Locke must have stolen it. Locke returns with Cooper and demands to know everything about the island. They all answer to Jacob but only Ben has seen and talks to him. Locke’s sure Ben is the man behind the curtain and a liar and the Others are idiots. Patch races in. Guess the sonar fence wasn’t set on lethal. The Lostaways have an injured parachutist and the Others need to go to the Beach Camp now. Locke would rather go see Jacob and beats up Patch to accomplish that. Ben warns him that Jacob will be angry. “This is not a man you go and see.” Nor does he like technology. Whey they enter his cabin, Ben has a one sided conversation with an empty chair. Locke actually asks, “Are you crazy?” Uh, yeah. Ben thinks Locke’s too limited to see Jacob. When Locke starts to leave, he hears Jacob say, “Help me,” suggesting Ben has him captive. Turning on a flashlight makes everything in the cabin freak out and there’s a brief glimpse of Jacob that Locke denies seeing, saying he’s sure Ben set everything up ahead of time. Ben takes Locke back via a different route to show him the mass grave of the DI who couldn’t co-exist with the natives. One side had to be purged. When Ben demands Locke tell him what he heard Jacob say and Locke refuses, Ben shoots him. He tumbles into the grave and Ben walks away.

At the Beach Camp, Sawyer plays Sayid the tape. When they confront Juliet, she has them flip the cassette over and play Ben’s response which states that he’s sending three teams to get Sun. Juliet is to mark the tents of any pregnant women and they’ll take them too. Juliet already informed Jack what Ben was forcing her to do. Jack hadn’t decided what to do yet. Hadn’t? Has he decided now? Quote of the episode that all fans have asked themselves since the end of Season 1: “So when do we leave?”

Friday, May 11, 2007

24 : 2 - 3 a.m.

24. 6.21. Heller’s threatening restraining order. Yeah, that’ll work. Jack asks Nadia to release him so he can get back or destroy the component which should be easy since he knows how Cheng thinks. Nadia’s not falling for that. Morris honestly thinks they’re all professionals but Chloe doesn’t look like she’s fine. Ricky can have the units rolling to Jefferson Heights Copper Refinery in five minutes. He better because Cheng plans to attack his target in fifteen minutes. Josh and Marilyn are still hanging around CTU, watching television. Josh feels bad for all the people who died because of his lunatic father. “I wish I was never part of this sick family,” he says, expressing the thoughts of pretty much everyone at Thanksgiving. Chloe tells Marilyn about Audrey’s fate. Marilyn promises to be there for Jack. Suddenly it’s a soap opera. Since she has to allow him to access her PDA (is that a euphemism?), Lisa contacts her boyfriend. If they can make him think the component is destroyed, maybe the Russians will believe it.

Cheng’s men head down into the sewer lines. Talk about job dedication. By the time Ricky reaches the refinery, it’s evacuated except for empty weapon crates. Obviously they’re planning an assault, but on what? Morris tells Chloe he broke up with her because of what he did. He knows she’d never be able to get past it. Nadia can’t reach Ricky. Perhaps there’s a hiccup in the server. Nope, can’t access the server either. I don’t know how this company has survived this long. The security cameras fail and Nadia orders a code red lockdown, but not fast enough. Cheng’s men have come up from the sewers, through the bathroom, I guess. Nadia orders everyone to their assigned safe rooms. If you need one of those where you work, maybe it’s time to brush off that resume.
Jack frees himself, as usual. Milo tells Cheng’s men that he’s in charge, saving Nadia from the bullet in the forehead he receives. Cheng has gone to all this trouble apparently just to take Josh. Luckily, possibly, Jack ushers Josh and Marilyn out of harm’s way. Josh manages to crawl into the air duct but Jack runs out of bullets so he and Marilyn must surrender. Ricky calls Nadia who’s advised not to warn him what’s going on. The Chinese tell Josh to come out of the vent in ten seconds or they’ll kill his mother. They’re working for Grandpa Stretch. He’s the one who gave them codes to access CTU. Would he know CTU access codes just because his son worked there? Stretch also appears ready with more codes to help Cheng with the blessed component. Line of the hour the writers must find especially ironic: “We’re all doing some improvising today, aren’t we?”

Monday, May 07, 2007

Lost : The brig

Lost. 3.19. The flashback backs up to Locke’s being shown Cooper who Ben says Locke brought there. Even though Ben warns him not to get too close, Locke does and Cooper bites his hand. Charming guy. The Others are leaving in the morning to go to a new/old place. Ben invites Locke. Ben seems somewhat infatuated with Locke, enough to say, “The minute you showed up, I started to feel pins and needles.” But before he can be ready to learn all about the island, Locke must release the hold his father has over him. This then switched to the more sinister: to join the Others, Lock must show a gesture of commitment by killing Cooper. Couldn’t they just exchange rings in a nice civil ceremony? Cooper strangely goads Locke on to kill him. He doesn’t spare his captor either and calls Ben “bug eyes.” Locke’s not a killer and balks. Ben’s disappointed. Locke must not be who they thought he was. The strangest thing about this scene was all the Others, even the children, gathering to watch the execution. But they’re the Good Guys. Sure. Richard then tells Locke that Ben purposely embarrassed him so the camp would see him fail. Locke’s extremely special but Ben doesn’t want him to think so. Richard gives him Sawyer’s file. The Others camp is on the move again. Ben tells Locke not to follow unless he’s carrying the dead Cooper on his back.

Sawyer notices Hurley and Jin acting strange. Before he can think about it, Locke shows up, back from his “gonna blow up everything that could get us off the island tour.” Locke wants to make it clear he’s infiltrated the Others camp, not joined them. Okay Tarzan. He claims he’s kidnapped Ben and wants Sawyer to kill him since he’s killed before, something Locke found out from the file the Others mysteriously acquired. Sawyer would rather not but Locke assures him he will after he hears what “Ben” has to say. Locke takes Sawyer to the Black Rock, which looked completely different, and locks him in a room with a hooded captive who turns out, of course, to be Cooper. Rousseau makes a brief appearance, dropping by to pick up some dynamite. For? Cooper says he was driving in Tallahassee when his car was smashed into. He was placed in an ambulance and woke up on the island. Among many alias’s he chose Tom Sawyer because Huck Finn was taken. How ‘bout that. More surprising, after everything he’s been through, Sawyer still has the letter he wrote as a child. Cooper isn’t impressed. Sawyer’s dad overreacted. He’s convinced the island is Hell, something the writers have denied many times. When Cooper rips up the letter, Sawyer strangles him. He had it coming, indeed. Before setting off on his own private journey, Locke gives Sawyer the tape Juliet made which Ben deliberately gave to Locke seemingly to set Juliet up. The Others will raid the beach in three days and take all the pregnant women. Sawyer must warn them.

Desmond doesn’t trust Jack enough to tell him about Parachute Girl who the campers have snuck back to the Beach Camp. Sayid would be a better bet. Parachute Girl, Naomi, claims she was part of a search and recovery team hired by Penny, based on a freighter ship. The entire Oceanic plane was found, complete with bodies, off Bali. She was given co-ordinates to the middle of the ocean, choppered there and saw land. The instruments started spinning, so she bailed. Sayid’s questions give her an immediate dislike of him. So much that she tells him, “Remind me not to rescue you.” Sayid fixes her phone thingie but there’s interference blocking any signal. Kate shows up. Though they ask her to keep it quiet, she immediately blabs to Jack and Juliet who seem to have their own secret that they don’t feel it’s time to share. More bewildering: how Juliet, who’s known Ben for three years, could trust him. We won’t miss her smug, superior grins.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

24 : 1 - 2 a.m.

24. 6.20. Audrey’s non-responsive and post-traumatic. In other words, normal. Nadia refuses Morris’s request to sit across the classroom from Chloe, or be transferred. She can’t indulge his personal melodrama and would rather he kept his personal life to himself. President Subaru sets up a conference with the VP. He’s heard the trouble news and threatens action if the component isn’t recovered. The VP doesn’t appreciate being dictated to, especially when a Russian general brought the weapons in the country. More worrying, how did Subaru find out? There must be a spy either in the White House or CTU. Lisa goes home for a quick rendezvous with her boyfriend who isn’t the VP by a long shot. Chen has a pal run a diagnostic on the component. He finds the circuitboard damaged. Someone needs to fix it, but who?

Morris ditches Chloe. She’s devastated and her chair is empty the rest of the hour. We somehow doubt she’s gone home for a nap. Dr Bradley, a psychiatric specialist from District diagnosis Audrey as a type 3 catatonic. I was wondering why they didn’t cover her with a blankie until they had to make note of the hundred or so injection sites on her. Bradley wants to shock her out of her state with more drugs, but that could kill her. Ricky suggests Jack talk to her but Bradley doesn’t like having his toes stepped on. So Ricky goes behind everyone’s back and uncuffs Jack, who then renders him unconscious and fights his way to medical. The VP calls Lisa back even before Tom informs him the leak is at the White House. Years ago they flagged a lobbyist named Mark Bishop. Lisa’s made lots of calls and hotel trysts with Bishop recently. The VP confesses he’s also seeing Lisa. “You understand how these things happen.” Something tells me, no, Tom doesn’t.

Jack spirits Audrey to the lower levels. The CTU guys weld through the door and there’s another yelling stand off complete with the phrase “Lower your weapon.” Audrey mumbles out the name Bloomfield which turns out to be a copper refining facility. There were traces of copper on her clothes. The VP confronts Lisa about Bishop. She tries to say he’s an acquaintance but VP won’t be insulted. She’s to get the component from him or he’ll have her declared an enemy combatant. Heller appears from the bottom of the bay. He doesn’t want Jack near Audrey ever again. The condition she’s in is Jack’s fault. No matter that she went looking for him. The most attuned if obvious phrase of the entire series: Heller to Jack: “You’re cursed. Everything you touch one way or another ends up dead.”