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Posts Tagged ‘Game Changers’

LOST Game Changers – The 23rd Psalm

December 18th, 2009 2 comments

This is a classic episode, that it ends with Mr. Eko quoting the 23rd Psalm while fire engulfs the plane wreckage that became his brother’s tomb, isn’t the game changer… It’s just the capper of a very revealing episode, that twists in things from the first season, swirls it around with what we know of the second season, and sets up a chess piece for upcoming seasons.

The backstory of Mr. Eko is telling, he’s not afraid to do what is right to protect the people he loves, but he’s also all about getting the business done, the right way, even if it means bending the laws, rules, killing people. The way the story tell of Eko’s Nigerian gangster past is somewhat surprising that we know he was wearing a priest’s collar, and has a habit for etching bible verses in tree branches. How that story is told, while winding around the Heroin infused statues of Mary, then loading them on the yellow plane that Locke found, that had lead to Boone’s death just is classic twisty LOST story telling.

The game changer was the approach of the smoke monster, to Charlie’s sound of alarm to the face to face meeting of Smokie and Eko. The slow plan through the smoke as it takes it’s measure of Mr. Eko, with flashes of faces and times that we’d never encountered, made it another screen capture/pause/wedbetterwatchthatagain moment.

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LOST – Game Changers – Orientation

December 16th, 2009 1 comment

Season 2 of LOST has so many good episodes and the third episode (after the vamping Adrift, second episode where much of the first episode was replayed from a different POV) has a few good head turners as the drama in the hatch is unveiled. After Kate, Jack and Locke make all nice with Desmond, well… okay, they didn’t make nice as so much distract Desmond by shooting the computer, and reducing poor Desmond to a freaked out electronics repairman. In order to save time, he tell Locke to check out the Orientation film in the library, while he tries to repair the computer with the bullet hole in it. I’m not sure if you can repair an Apple II computer with just a some solder and a spare resistor, but Dessie is just the man to try. As Kate runs to get electronic wizard and soon to be super spy Sayid to assist in the Nerd Herd emergency. Jack and Locke settle down the lounge with a Super 8 projector and we get our first look at the Dharma Initiative, and Dr. Marvin Candle (played wonderfully by Dr. Pierre Chang) and his odd artificial arm, explain to us about the Swan hatch and the protocol for saving the world.

As the film flips through the last frames, the camera focuses in on Locke and he says:

We’re gonna have to see that again…

And quite a few of us have, over and over and over again. That little bit of film started a craze of Dharma Initiative fandom that hasn’t stopped to this day. That we spend much of Season 5 encamped with the DI was wonderful to how well that was envisioned and portrayed by the writer’s and the production staff.

The other shocker was that there was at least one more survivor of Flight 815, her name was Ana Lucia, but she appears to be in cahoots with that shady bunch of ‘Others’ that captured and imprisoned Sawyer, Michael and Jin. The word ‘Other’ was used a few times in the first season, and it’s a tribute, I think, to the story that it can be used for so many groups of people on LOST, the natives were others, the tailies were others, the DI was others, in reality, all of us are others to people that don’t know us.

That’s why I liked Orientation, and why I think it changed the way I percieved the show LOST. Certainly a game changer.

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LOST Game Changers – Man of Science Man of Faith

December 15th, 2009 Comments off

The rest of Season 1 of LOST was made of excellent, but the arc moved fairly predictably as I learned more about each character.  There were some surprises, like the discovery of the mysterious hatch, the sabotaging of the raft, the mystery man Ethan Rom, the appearance of Danielle Rousseau, which kept the story moving, but nothing that stands out to me now as head turning, and game changing.  The pace of Season 1 was relaxed as I was introduced to each character via their backstories, we found out some surprises, Locke was a dupe, Kate a fugitive, Boone and Shannon were secret lovers, but nothing game changing.

Then in the season finale all sorts of things happened, the raft launched, then a boat full of others kidnapped Walt (aka Waaaaaaalt) Danielle tried to kidnap Aaron, and Jack, Kate, Hurley and Locke blew up the door of the hatch.  (Oh yeah, Doc Artz blew up too, that was all kinds of amazing)

Which leads to the first classic LOST mind blowing season opener.  Man of Science Man of Faith, the title didn’t give much away, other than stress the building confrontation between Jack and John. The opening scene lured me into thinking, here’s another flashback, but the curiousness of the modern washer and dryer along with an old record player, then a really old exercise bike, and suddenly I’m captivated, this isn’t a flashback, this is someone new… Why does he enter Hurley’s number’s into that old computer? Why is he giving himself an injection?  What was that on his coveralls.  A *BOOM*, dust settling out of the ceiling from the unexpected explosion, an amory full of guns, a fancy mirror system that leads us down a dim hall, then up a shaft, then suddenly staring at the faces of Jack and John peering down out of the torch illuminated darkness.

Oh LOST how much I missed you…

This also setup the tradition of taking a few episodes to wind down from the previous seasons finale, at the end of the episode we didn’t learn anything about what happened on the raft, or to Michael, Jin and Sawyer.  This was all about Jack, who we all knew as the Man of Science, and his healing of a pretty young lady that he saved from being in a car crash (the other victim, the driver, was Shannon’s father… oh LOST! you and your 6 degrees of separation)  His late night run in the stadium with a mysterious Scotsman, that encourages him to hope, to have faith (Maybe Jack is also the Man of Faith?) in his abilities, then goes back to running the stadium tour with a hearty, “See you in another Life, brutha!”

The episode flew by so quickly, that I almost felt cheated… Until the final reveal of the man inhabiting the hatch, was… The man from the stadium tour!  Um, guys… Where ARE we?  And why do I have to wait another week to find out more!

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LOST Game Changers … continued – Walkabout

December 14th, 2009 1 comment

Okay, so I made a nice little list of episodes that I thought were game changers, ranked them in order, so I could to a top ten count down like build up thing.  Then I LOST the list.  Oh Irony, smite me now!

So change of plans, I’ll just blather on about the game changers that matter to me, no more rankings, and y’all can self-rank, agree, disagree or just point and laugh in mirth in the comments.

So…

Walkabout

This was the fourth hour of the LOST universe, and while the Pilot and Tabula Rasa were both wonderfully done, and had all the nice twisty turns we’ve come to love and expect from LOST, Walkabout is the one that dug the fish hook into the flesh of my cheek and hooked me into fandom.

We’d gotten some hints that Locke’s character was a bit dualistic by this point.  He’d been forming a friendship with Walt, gave an impressive little solioquy about the game of backgammon, and  of course the orange rind smile both entertained and creepied me out.

The opening scene of the crash and the yellow-threaded toe wriggle should have cued us in that the writer’s were going to pull one over on us.  The setup set in our brain, we go back to present island time and backing Vincent, and a fuselage full of boars (not Sawyer… Jack).  The scene had me leaning to an exposition of the monster, or whatever it was, but it just became a mundane normal creature, that John Locke would now become the hunter/provider of the survivors.

The secondary story of gathering kindling and firewood to torch the fuselage, while peeking at Sayid’s triangulation plan to locate the 16 year old signal.  The episode had a more relaxed feel, with the ending montage of the the survivors as the fuselage burns was touching with Michael Giacchino’s soaring score.

The flash of a hunting knife, contrasted with Locke’s exposition on the details and habits of a razorback boar, had be totally bought into flashback’s tickler that Locke was a military man, but we soon realized that Colonel Locke was his name only in a fantasy role playing game he played at lunch, while getting humiliated by his boss Randy.  The haunting sound of Locke’s adding machine, echoes the now telltale sign of the imminent appearance smoke monster.

The meandering stories this episode sets up so many themes that carry through the rest of the season, some even carry on into season six: caring for and memorializing the dead, figuring out more about the transmission, the hunt for food and provisions, thy mystery of the monster, destiny, “don’t tell me what I can’t do”, Nadia,  Helen, the relationships between Rose and Jack, Michael and Sun, Charlie and Hurley,  even Charlie and Shannon are all entertwined in a story of a boar hunt gone wrong.  The ending hooks of finding out that Locke was going on a walkabout while wheelchair bound, Jack running after the guy in the blue suit to find a blood covered John Locke hauling in the corpse of the boar.

They hid a lot of things in plain sight in this episode, but within it I saw into the heart of the series, and what I saw was … beautiful.

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LOST Game Changing Episodes: #10 Every Man for Himself

December 10th, 2009 4 comments

I wanted to push my self to write more on my blog, so I decided upon writing about LOST episodes that “changed the game”.  My emphasis on game changing, means to me that the episode had a moment or scene where something was revealed that changed the way I perceived the show.  So without further ado, I’ll start the list off.

Every Man for Himself was the fourth episode of season 3.  Stuck in the middle of the 6-pack of fall episodes, before the very long wait of 17 episodes that ran back to back in the spring of 2007.  This series of episode has gotten a bad rap, after re-watching all the episodes the past six months, I’ve found new appreciation of being stuck in the Dharma Zoo.  This episode was the turning point of that arc. 

The back story was all about Sawyer and his willingness to con anyone if it favors his own skin.  Off island Sawyer really was a scallywag, and his preference for the long con is showing strong in the back story.  The characterization really highlighted Sawyer’s past character, and really around this point the back stories were getting a bit repetitive.  Still they managed to have Sawyer pull a fast one, and was an enjoyable story, and left a few breadcrumbs for fans to hold on two in the larger arc of the story.  Besides, who doesn’t like Bill Duke as the prison warden.

On the island, we are seeing Sawyer and Kate bond as they try to figure a way out of the animal cages.  Ben catches a whiff of this and pulls Sawyer out of the cage, after beating him real good with his Daredevil cane.  The first glimpse of a Dharma test bunny is revealed as Ben demonstrates to Sawyer what will happen if his heart rate goes to fast.

Sawyer and Kate get a glimpse of a hooded Jack getting ferried to the Dharma operation station, to operate on Colleen (who was shot by Sun when the Others stole back Desmond’s boat).  The operation is futile, and an enraged Danny (Colleen’s husband, and the main warden of the Others’ prison camp) goes to take out his rage on Sawyer.  Sawyer gets the best of him by pummeling Danny’s fists with his face a few times, then to add insult to injury revealing, unbidden, his love for Kate. (wait, maybe I have that backwards…)

Anyway, the point is that Sawyer is too worried about his imminently exploding heart to put up a fight or over exert himself anytime the pulse monitoring watch goes off.

image The real game changing scene was after a long hike, Ben reveals that he conned the con-man, and Sawyer doesn’t have a heart monitor and he faked the rabbit’s demise.  But that wasn’t the reason he brought Sawyer on the trek, the real reason was just over the last rise.  The image of Ben and Sawyer on a bluff over looking a wide expanse of ocean to the main island.  Jack, Sawyer and Kate weren’t only imprisoned, they were trapped on another island.

Stand by for more Game Changers in the days to come.

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