Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lost Season 1, Episode 2: Tabula Rasa

Previously on Lost... Episode 1 happened.

Episode two is titled "Tabula Rasa" which is Latin for "Episode Two". Our dear friend the US Marshall doesn't waste any time showing Jack some hot mug shots of Kate. Jack writes it off to the ramblings of a crazy person.

Meanwhile, the hike is not going well.

While sitting around a campfire, the Iraqi recreates their flight and ensuing crash on the island with a rock (the island) and a stick which is on fire (as the plane) which, I'm sure, was a little too symbolic for the rest of the castaways. They realize that there is probably no hope because of that French transmission that had been playing for the past 16 years. It's unanimous though, they're going to lie to everyone and tell them that there is, indeed, hope.

Back at camp, Jack and the fat guy talk about how the US Marshall is probably going to die right in front of the poor guy. Fat guy finds the hot mug shot and has one of his trademark freak outs in which he mutters "uh, dude?" a lot. Thus sets up the plot of Episode 2. For those of you just joining us here's a bulleted list

-There's no hope.
-Jack and fat guy now know that Kate once had a mug shot taken of her.

There's some tension about the gun back at camp. They agree to let Kate hold onto it, being the least threatening of the bunch. Oh Sweet Irony! But it's flashback time. Kate is sleeping in a barn with some pigs, like an animal, when an old Australian man finds her. She's quite mysterious, Canadian, and a strong walker, apparently. As for the old man, he has "a hell of a mortgage", a farm he can't take care of and a missing arm. I didn't catch that he was missing an arm the first time I watched this, and thus missed a lot of great arm pun opportunities and also was a little freaked out when his arm comes off later in the episode. Kate decides to lend him a hand in exchange for a place to stay.

The hikers return to camp and flat out lie to everyone. "Oh it's totally cool. Give me your batteries and I'll make the transceiver so awesome." Kate can't keep a goddamn secret, though, and blabs to Jack first chance she gets. She obviously doesn't believe that Jack deserves hope. Jack could give a shit, though, he wants to know what's up with the mug shot. She probably committed credit fraud or something, who cares? Get over it, man. Well, turns out he does get over it. Fat guy, on the other hand, doesn't. He wants to let US Marshall handle it when he gets better but they need some stronger antibiotics. That means it's time for everyone's favorite past time: grave robbing. Jack heads into the plane and runs into that jerk. They commiserate and share tips on robbing the dead. It looks like the robbing went better for asshole than it did for Jack. Then again, porn and cigarettes are more common on an airplane than tetracycline.

As for the rest of our buddies...
The asian guy sends his wife off to get herself cleaned up, Charlie Pace flirts with the pregnant girl, and the cowardly fat guy and Kate have an awkward moment. He notices that she now has a gun and totally freaks out and calls her "dude" a few times.

It starts to rain and everyone runs around setting up tarps and bottles to collect it so that they can have water. Kate checks up on her old friend the Marshall just in time for a flashback!

Kate's making a withdrawal from her bean can bank. The old Australian man apparently pays her $10 a month. Judging by the bills she pulls out. They have a heartwarming exchange and he offers to drive her to the train in the morning instead of her having to walk all night.

Flash forward, the US Marshall starts choking Kate with the very last of his strength, but Jack saves her. Marshall's not doing so hot these days. He needs water and luckily it's pouring out so Jack just drags him out of the tent into the rain and tells him to open his mouth. For a group of people literally surrounded by an ocean, they sure worry about water a lot. It sounds like the end is near for Mr. Marshall, but not soon enough judging by the sounds coming out of him and Kate suggests putting him out of his misery. That's when Jack decided to drop the Mug shot bomb. Harsh.


In the car with ol' one arm who we find out is the only other person on Earth besides me who still listens to Patsy Cline. All of a sudden a younger, healthier, shrapnel free Marshall is driving behind them in a pickup. That fucking dirt farmer sold Kate out. In his defense, he does have one hell of a mortgage.

Flash forward.

Michael and his kid have a little talk about the kid hanging out with Mr. Locke. Michael is worried about his son and being trapped on a desert Island but all the kid cares about is where his dog is. First off, I thought that Vincent was a person up until this point (it's the dog's name). Second, what airline lets you bring big dogs on the damn plane? Third, did the dog have a seatbelt on? Michael goes to look for the mutt in the forest. You know. Where the monster is. He thinks he's being chased by the monster and totally freaks out only to run in on the asian lady bathing. So much better than a monster.

Charlie Pace tries to make friends with Locke. Stick to women, Charlie Pace.

The Iraqi and Jack have a heart to heart. Jack tells him that he's trying to save the guy's life and the Iraqi lets Jack in on a little rumor going around. Mean whilst, Kate and that jerkface build a bonfire and talk about mercy killings and have a few laughs. They talk about the poetic justice involved in using the last bullet to kill the guy. I'd be more worried about polar bears. In fact, I'm always worried about polar bears. Those things are mean! The Marshall uses his last remaining moments on this Earth to badmouth Kate a little more to Jack.

Flashback again!

Kate crashes the truck in a desperate attempt to get away from Marshall, or just to stick it to her farmer friend. She may be going to jail, but she'll die before she lets him have a working truck. After the crash she cools off a bit and decides to drag the guy out of his now burning vehicle. I guess she's not so bad after all. Poor choice, though, cause the Marshall catches up to her.

Flash Forward.

We find out that right before the crash Kate asked Marshall for a favor. Turns out she wanted to make sure the farmer got his money. He did, after all, have one hell of a mortgage. This now makes me wonder if that guy ever DID get his money. Does it still count if she's pronounced dead a week after her plane goes missing over the pacific ocean?

The end of the episode is just a big downer. The asshole tries to mercy kill the Marshall (surprise it's not Kate, also it's at the request of the Marshall) but turns out he's an idiot and shoots him in the chest. You always have to put one in the head, jerk. Shooting a man in the lung does not making dyeing less painful. Jack has to clean up everyone else's mess again and presumably chokes the guy to death. Everyone feels real bad, especially the Marshall, and that's the end for him.

In the morning, Mr. Locke starts blowing into a dog whistle he made only to see eight angry polar bears run out of the forest. No, I'm just kidding, he uses the whistle to find Vincent, who I will remind you is actually a dog. He lets Michael take the credit for finding the dog, being the good natured man that he is. The kid, Walt, is happy. The dog, Vincent, looks pissed. Probably because he was free to run around the island for a glorious day and now he's stuck on a leash again. Last time he'll run toward a mysterious high pitched noise.

Jack decides that Kate deserves a second chance for on this island he is judge, jury and executioner, and his word is law. Lets hope he's also a good monster killer.

This episode earns an orange frown for being generally depressing except for the upbeat musical montage at the end where you find out that the asian guy loves his wife, the annoying kid fixes his sisters sunglasses, Charlie Pace draws on his fingers some more, the iraqi gives the asshole a fruit, and Vincent who is a dog is reunited with Walt who is a kid, and Walt has renewed respect for Mercutio... I mean Michael.



Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lost Season 1: Pilot Episode

The pilot episode begins with a well dressed man waking up in an unkempt field or yard full of bamboo and overgrown plants.  This man has either been a part of some catastrophe or just woke up from a month long bender in which he neglected to mow the lawn.  Our spiffed up swashbuckler slowly regains consciousness and checks himself for injuries, finding some apparent discomfort in his ribular region.  Being the brave Adonis that he is, he immediately forgets all injuries and goes for a top speed sprint through the bamboo forest, I assume because he likes to work out in the morning or because he was still a little drunk and thought he was trapped in House of Flying Daggers.  At this point, I think we can all agree that he is Lost.

Our hero emerges from the bamboo forest to discover there has been an accident of some sort.  A plane crash, judging from the giant jet engine that is somehow still running in the background.  As you might imagine there are a number of injured, pregnant, and obese people lying about.  Luckily, Suity McBriskjog is, amongst other things, a doctor and he sets to work saving lives.  He uses his med school training to pull a man out from under the still active jet engine, checks up on a pregnant woman, finds her a fat friend, and makes a conscious effort to not do anything to help a guy with a piece of shrapnel in his abdomen.  Meanwhilst, hold on to your hat... or your entire body because some gravitationally challenged man gets sucked into the jet engine.  An explosion ensues, and we, the viewers, are left to assume that he is one of the lucky ones.

Through a series of conversations, we discover that our favorite spiffy savior is, sadly, named Jack.  He finds a "lifeguard" giving some sloppy CPR to an unconscious black woman.  Jack chastises him for not being a doctor and also for blowing a bunch of air into the woman's stomach.  He performs some doctor grade CPR on her for a few seconds until she wakes up and exclaims, "Oh thank God!  I was fine until that young man started blowing a bunch of air into my stomach." Jack then sends the kid on the pointless mission of finding as many different colored pens as possible. That is not even a joke.

Throughout all of this, we start to meet some of the other friends we'll be stuck with for an indeterminable amount of time:  The fat guy, the asians, the bald guy, the Iraqi, the black guy, the black kid, the best character on the show, some asshole, a couple of annoying kids, the girl who will obviously fall for Jack later, Shrapnel belly, and old black lady...  Exactly the kind of cultural cross section you'd expect to meet in the coach section of a commercial airliner.  It should be noted that this is the point where most of them start to wish they had watched more Survivor.  Damn you CBS.

Seeing that the situation was as under control as possible, Jack decided to steal away to a private beach to examine his own wounds.  Turns out he had a pretty nasty gash taken out of his back.  Luckily he had some stitching supplies and a lot of booze, which was sadly wasted on disinfecting his wounds.  Kate, the aforementioned probable love interest, swings by to check up on Jack.  He asks her, "Hey, do you know how to use a needle and thread?  Ever... patch up a pair of jeans or something?"
"I made the drapes in my apartment," She responds.
"I didn't ask what you did with your old prom dress.  I want to know if you can stitch up my back."

Well, needless to say, she obliges and Jack reminisces about a time he exploded some poor girl's spinal sack and nerves poured out like a broken faucet and then teaches Kate how to count to five.  He's an old fashioned romantic.

We witness some sibling bickering, there's 5 or 6 "That's what she said" joke opportunities every time the best character on the show is onscreen (who shall henceforth be know as Charlie Pace), the asians seclude themselves from the rest of the group and start making sushi, and the pregnant girl makes friends with a man who looks like he could be pregnant.  She says that she hasn't felt the baby move since the crash, which is sad. More so for the baby, but also for her and the hungry fat man who may have been planning on eating it. Eventually.

Oh, but wait, FLAHSBACK!  Jack's on the plane, looking to get his drunk on, but that bitch stewardess totally ripped him off on a weak ass drink.  She comes around after he makes some thinly veiled insults toward her bar-tending skills.  She slips him about 90 tiny plane crash proof bottles of vodka which will be quite useful as disinfectants or booze after the ensuing plane crash.  Jack makes some small talk with a friendly black woman sitting next to him when the plane hits some turbulance.  At this point, Jack flat out lies to her and tells her that it's "normal" and everything is "fine".  Then there's that crash I mentioned earlier. Flash present!

Jack has sat idle for too long.  It's time to go find the other half of the plane and hopefully a transceiver.  Kate decides to go along because... what the hell, why not.  Jack decides she's going to need some better shoes if she's going on the hike so she just flat out steals them from a dead guy. Also joining them is Charlie Pace, declaring, "And so we shall be the fellowship of the transceiver."

Oh also, something starts knocking over a bunch of trees and an ominous rainstorm hits the island.  Spooky. Jack, Kate, and Charlie Pace set out to find the plane cabin.  We find out that Charlie Pace is/was the bassist for a mildly successful rock band and then Jack and Kate go about ignoring him for the rest of the trip to the plane.  They somehow find it in the middle of the jungle and climb up to the cockpit.  Charlie Pace seems to disappear, a zombie falls out of the cockpit door, and then they start looking for the transceiver.
Kate: What does it look like?
Jack: Well, it kind of looks like a transmitter and a
reciever all built into one unit.
Kate: I don't know what either of those things look like.
Jack: Well then we're in trouble because I'm still a little drunk.

But lo and behold, the pilot is still alive, and it's that delightful mind-reader guy from Heroes!  I'll bet he's pretty busy, being on two shows and all... oh.  No.  Nevermind.  He gets his skin ripped off by a monster or a dinosaur or a frankenstein or something.  You can't really see it.  Seems kind of silly to name the episode after a character who gets killed four minutes after they introduce him. Anyways, better luck on Heroes.  Charlie Pace?  Oh. He's just in the bathroom.  Getting sick?  Naturally.   Before the pilot died he did manage to let everyone know that he effed up bad and they're like 1000 miles off course. Long story short, no one's coming. Time to make a run for it from the frankenstein though.

When running from a mysterious predator, always remember that you don't have to run fast.  You just have to run faster than Charlie Pace.  It should be noted that Charlie Pace is not a strong runner or avoider of coil like plants.  That being said, Charlie Pace goes down in the mud.  Jack, being the bleeding heart liberal that he is, decides to go back to help out, leaving Kate all by her lonesome to hide behind a stick of bamboo, cry, and count to five.  Then suddenly, who should find her but Charlie Pace himself.  She knocks him over and falls on him in the confusion only to discover that now Jack is missing!
"I'm going to go find him," she says
Charlie Pace protests, "There's a crazy huge monster out there!"
"Then don't come."
"That's what she said.... wait! YOU ALL EVERYBODY!"

Turns out Jack's fine.  He is a doctor after all. The fellowship returns to discover they missed the start of fight club.  The Iraqi and the Asshole got in a fight because, surprise, the asshole thinks it's the Iraqi's fault that the plane crashed.  Every party needs a bad boy.  The fight gets broken up and turns out the Iraqi is an expert on transcievers.  He volunteers to repair it.  

Meanwhile, being the forward thinking industrious people that they are, the asians have prepared some sample sushi dishes and they begin to offer them to the various denizens of the isle.  Sadly, not even the fat guy is open minded enough to try it.  The only person who gives it a shot is the pregnant girl.  A risky move seeing as how she's eating potentially poisonous raw fish for two, but a good move on her part becuase the fish turns out to be magical and her baby comes back to life and starts thrashing wildly in her belly.  She forces the asian man to feel it in what is the second most awkward moment of the episode.

Jack has a quick heart to heart with the black guy, Michael, about his son who is becoming a conneseur of foreign language comic books.  The kid runs off after his dad offers to buy him a new dog, but no dog can replace his Labradoodle (half Lab, half poodle).  The kid quickly makes friends with the creepiest guy on the island who is all too keen on the situation, probably for a number of sinister reasons.

Through a series of inconsequential events, half the people on the island decide to go on a "hike" to find some higher ground to get a better signal for the transceiver.  The new fellowship consists of the siblings, the Iraqi, Kate, the Asshole, and everyone's favorite scrapper... Charlie Pace.  As I'm sure will happen many times over as the series goes on, these hikers got much more than they bargained for when the asshole SHOOTS A FUCKING POLAR BEAR!  Most of the campers seem pretty concerned about where he got a gun (took it from the presumably dead air marshall). Me?  I'm more concerned about... why is there a goddamn polar bear on a tropical island?
Spoiler Alert:  When the series ends you find out that they're actually at the north pole but global warming has melted everything and the area has become a lush paradise... with monsters.  A little preachy, but relevant to today's social issues.

There's some speculation that the asshole guy is actually a criminal that was being transported on the plane and he says he was all sarcastically.  They manage to pick up a signal using the reciever function on the transciever
(it's multipurpose) and find out that someone else was stranded on the island and had been broadcasting an S.O.S. for about 16 years.  Total.  Buzzkill.

Oh, but wait.  Flashback.  Kate's on the plane and turns out she's the criminal!  The marshall gets smacked in the head by a briefcase when the plane starts going down, Kate fumbles around with his many keys and manages to unlock herself from her cuffs and get her oxygen mask on, which... somehow saved her life in the crash.

While everyone else is off poaching polar bears and being depressing, Jack and the fat guy are perfoming an emergency surgery on shrapnel belly.  Fat dude passes out and conveniently shrapnel belly wakes up and, surprise!  It's our good friend the US Marshall.

This episode earns an orange smile for being pretty intriguing. I can definitely see why people got so into this show.