Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lost in Chronologically Order

Following the podcast of Anna and Wendy:

Lost in Order

Episode 1 (ancient time, 2,000 years ago?)


This contains the entire episode of "Across The Sea", where we see Jacob's origins, along with his brother.  We also see the earliest time flash, when Locke turns the wheel to stop the island from moving.

Theme number 1: Island Mother is such a gosh darn liar, liar her pants must be on fire (if ancient roman women wore pants).

Why would anyone believe anything she says. Specifically that she made them so that they can’t hurt each other. Jacob sure looks like he does a good job of killing MIB and condemning him to a fate worse than death (according to mother).

Theme 2: Island Mother is the smoke monster as well as island guardian.

Also, I think mother who identified herself as the island’s guardian was also the spoke monster (she has such a good description of what the source of the light looks like and exactly what happens if you go down the cave tunnel and see it) and took that form to wipe out MIB’s fellow villagers (and also wife and child from what I’ve heard).
And mother was killed (very much like Jacob get’s killed by Ben) so even the guardian/smoke monster looks like they can die.

Theme 3: Watching in this order don’t you just hate Jacob and feel bad for MIB?

The strongest element of watching this episode chronologically first is that you really start the show hating or disliking Jacob and empathizing with MIB. I guess the audience is led to be suspicious of the mysterious Jacob when he first gets introduced as the ‘real’ leader of the island, (since Ben is such a rat bastard) but quite soon I felt the audience was being directed to trust Jacob’s intentions. The more we are led to believe the island is important and special, we want to believe the person guarding it is ‘good’.

MIB finds out ‘island mother’ murdered his real mother, just wants to get away from her and eventually to leave the island and both mother and Jacob (his mother loving brother) seem to go out of their way just to screw him.

If there was any good reason for not letting people control the power of the island (with the donkey wheel MIB and his fellows were building) then let them off the island for goodness sake. And if mother/Jacob were so against people harnessing the power of the island, then why did Jacob bring the dharma initiative to the island? Or at least let them stay there for so long?

Enjoyment factor

I liked “Across the Sea” when I saw it. I was very happy to get some of the island’s, Jacob and MIB’s story told. On rewatch I have to say I had a clear recollection of the episode so I mostly enjoyed seeing John turn the wheel. Although the adult interaction between Jacob and MIB still holds up. I really think MIB actor, Titus Welliver is amazing. He and John Terry (Christian Shepherd) really were amazing as ‘minor’ reoccurring characters with great depth. They had great roles (loved how John Terry got to play both Jack’s dad AND the smoke monster).

Episode 2 (1867-1954)


In episode 002, we pick up with Richard Alpert in 'Ab Aeterno'.  In between his time in prison and crashing on the island, we see Jacob's conversation with the Man in Black before the Black Rock arrives. The episode concludes with another time flash, when everyone flashed to 1954, with Locke reuniting with Sawyer, Juliet & Co.

Theme 1: Richard really was screwed

The doctor screwed him, the priest screwed him, MIB screws with him, Jacob screws with him for 6 over 200 years and if Jacob is to be believed, he brought the black rock to the island? Did Jacob use the power of the island to cause a tsunami like event similar to the event caused by Desmond failing to push the button which caused oceanic 815 to crash onto the island.

Theme 2: Loved seeing MIB and Jacob’s beach side conversation.

When MIB says he’s just eaten, could that be he was the boar eating Richard’s fellow slaves?
Also liked later seeing Richard eating a boar which might have been eating his fellow slaves. It’s a dog eat dog world on the island.

Theme 3: Great to finally find out how old Richard was and how he became unaging.

Theme 4: Really loved seeing the regular cast of Losties time jumping in season 5.

Not only is it great to see John Locke, James Ford, Juliet Burke, Faraday, and Miles. I really enjoyed seeing Richard interacting with John right after getting his backstory.

Theme 5: The others, as Island protectors come off as real jerks, (Widemore is a loser!) who seemed to have appropriated Jacob’s worse characteristics.

The main others at the time: Eloise Hawking and Widemore are both a holes, amazingly cocky, presumptuous, and ready to kill. (Widemore is an total jack ass and even Richard is dismissive of him--so why does Jacob make him ‘leader’ of the others? This lack of judgment reflects very poorly on Jacob).

Theme 6: loved frogurt getting the flaming arrow in the chest. What an amazingly annoying jerk with awesome last words. “we can’t even make fire”

Enjoyment Factor

Again I really liked Ab Eterno when I first saw it. Loved that shot of the statue from the Black Rock’s portal during the storm.
I really liked Nestor Carbonell (who doesn’t love his portrayal of BatManuel in the Tick) and was happy to see him get some concentrated screen time. I think it really works in chronological order to develop the relationship between Jacob and MIB. While MIB is shown to be a murder, and nasty (he left Richard in that hold for a long time, and really f’d him up by pretending to be his dead wife) Jacob still comes off worse as pouting adolescent still holding a grudge against his dead brother and still committed to winning this new game and forcing MIB to play by his rules. (loved that scene in Across the Sea where MIB tells his brother that since he found the game they had to both play by his rules and that if he made up his own game then he could make the rules). Liked how episode this episode combines ab aterno elements with young John Locke ‘interviews’ and MIB & Jacob conversations.
I never believed Island Mother’s claim that Jacob and MIB could not hurt each other and never believed there was any reason or mystic power preventing Ben and Widemore from hurting each other. Lots of Others kill other Others (Widemore snaps that kid’s neck ‘cunningham’, Patchy (aka Mikhail Bakunin) kills Bonnie and Greta, Ben let’s Goodwin die, Widemore kills Alex, and Juliet kills Picket and they make out like this is a big deal but as you can see, there’s a lot of other on other violence on the island.

Episode 3 (1954 to 1972)


In episode 003, we play out the rest of the time flash in 1954, then we go on to see Locke born in 1956, then visited as a child by Richard.  We also see Ben born, as his mother dies, and eventually ends up on an island.  The ending to this episode is a little anti-climactic, with Ben meeting Richard in the jungle, but it was done to create a bit of a bookend for the next episode

Theme 1: Ben’s dad is a real piece of work. (I personally always thought he wasn’t Ben’s biological dad. I thought his mom cheated on him and that’s why they were taking the long walk in the woods to see if they could work things out).

Chronologically both Ben and MIB gain immense empathy from the audience.

Theme 2: John Locke just can’t catch a break. First he picks the knife and then he rejects his teacher’s endorsement of a trip to the island.

From this chronological viewpoint the audience gains lots of empathy initially for Ben. As opposed to the introduction of Ben on the island as a real bastard.

Theme 3: Never really found out why Ben was special and saw his mother’s ghost? Did he have an ability like Hurley? Was his mom the smoke monster who pretended to be Ben’s mom so when he related it to Richard, so Richard would think Ben was ‘special’?

Theme 4: Don’t you just really ‘dig’ the dharma initiative. They are grovey man!

Enjoyment Factor

I very much enjoyed John Locke’s meeting with Richard as a child pulling the ole dhali lama trick. Nice to see Sawyer’s first bad deed in begetting John and running away. I wondered if Sawyer actually hit John’s mom with his car in the rain and took off after that.

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