This week: Say "Namaste" to the returning castaways as Kate puts the "drama" in "Dharma"...or something. Kate's stupid, that's my point.
Christian Shephard: I'm sorry, but you have a bit of a journey ahead of you.
LOST, Season 5, Episode 9
I. The Re-Made Fantasy Island, The One Where Malcom McDowell Had Just Started To Urinate On His Career And Character Development Was Replaced By Low-Budget CGI
A. If you're a pilot and a fellow pilot walks up to you and says "Hi, my name is Frank Lapidus," you need to stick your fingers in your ears and say "LALALALALALALA" while you walk away, then pretend you never met him. If you fly commercial airplanes and Frank knows you, then your shit is fucked, so to speak. Buy extra life insurance.
B. I kind of want the rationale for Sun being left behind in the present to be something more important and mythologically sound than "because she's a bitch," but then again I kinda don't.
C. As captain, Frank did little to sooth his passengers, since he was just one sharp question away from blurting out "NO I'VE NEVER BEEN HERE BEFORE WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT SHUT UP." He barely gets a word out before the Hispanic guy with the Napoleon complex steps up in his grill. What gives him the right, the extra $125 he spent to sit in first class? Someone from the back of the plane needs to Rosa Parks this situation right quick.
D. It's a shame we didn't get to see more of the Ambiguously Self-Interested Duo (Ben and Sun) before one of them was eventually going to double cross the other. Ben had to be expecting it, but either she beat him to it or he's still got a bit of a concussion from the last beating he took. Also, three seasons ago he was taking nightly asskickings from Sayid, Ana Lucia and everyone else who wanted a shot, and as recently as the day before the flight he clearly took a whooping from someone (Desmond? Ms. Hawking? His loan shark?). Now he's out cold because a 75-pound woman clocked him with a piece of wood and apparently ends up in the new LOSTaways' MASH unit. I'm not buying it. I want a flashback episode where the smoke monster shows up and shoots him with a gun before I believe he can be out of commission for that long.
E. Why does Frank suddenly go along with the boat-exploration plan after Ben is out of the picture? Did Sun hold him at oarpoint? I guess there was something about their prior experience together - consisting of her shrieking in the backseat of his helicopter and then having a panel discussion on The Big Lie - that made him think "I would like to continue my adventures with this woman and eliminate all possible witnesses."
F. If Christian wants to be spooky (and he DOES want to be spooky), why would he show them the picture from 1977 instead of, you know, three years earlier when Jin would be one of the "new recruits" (presumably)? Does he just get a good laugh out of seeing Hurley in the jumpsuit, or did he assume that Jin would be in that photo just because Jack, Kate and Hurley were and he can't really tell Asian guys apart? Maybe he was going to pick up a picture of Dr. Chang next. Obviously the subtle racism of Christian Shephard is supposed to be symbolic of the longstanding hatred between Catholics and Asians. Do Catholics hate Asians? I may have made that up. Whatever, it's on LOST, so it may as well be in the Bible.
II. The Original Fantasy Island, The One With Khan And The Creepy Midget Not Named Ben
A. During that entire van ride to the meet-and-greet with Sawyer, Jin didn't share any information with the returnaways? He speaks fluent English now! I ride in a car with someone for five minutes and I'm sharing my life story, but he thought the mind-fucking litany of startling information was worth waiting for? Did they not have questions? What the hell did he say to them? "Sorry I waved the gun at you, let's all ride in this alarmingly modern-looking pillbox van to an undisclosed location while I speak to an unidentified voice. Please ignore how I am dressed." It's been three years, and he knows how to use the word "THE" properly now! THE 70s, Jin! Tell them about THE 70s and THE Dharma Initiative!
B. The mere presence of Kate seems to completely undo all the work Juliet has done to be the alpha female since they left. There must be some x-rated secrets about Kate's bedroom (or zoo cage, whatever) skills that we the audience are not privy to, because there is something keeping Sawyer and Juliet from being Jack and Kate 2.0 (all the leadership, twice the rational decisionmaking), and unless Sawyer's got a thing for girls who dress sort of like Sigourney Weaver in the Alien franchise, the secret is lost on me.
C. Speaking of Jack and Kate, this episode suffers from a serious break in logic when BOTH of them obeyed the sentence "Do what I say, everything will be fine." Any time one of them is told that, they never follow it and eventually something or someone is blown up, shot or set on fire. Oops, I just gave away the teaser for next week.
D. The Dharma registration people should have become suspicious when they learned that one of the off-site recruiters thought Hurley would be the ideal utopian worker. When you have to order the jumpsuit as a custom fit, is he really the ideal candidate? Why doesn't Stevie Eyebrows bring that up to anyone? Trivia: The material from Hurley's jumpsuit would eventually be used for Henry Gale's hot air balloon.
E. I'm sure Sawyer learned to "keep enemies closer" from all those books he's been reading at night, but if Stevie Eyebrows seems to be the most suspicious dude on the compound, I don't want his ass in all the places where he can be asking questions. Get him off the security team and bounce him to the auto pool or the rabbit farm or the underwater station where he can't get up in your business.
F. I'm sure the clandestine reference to Faraday's departure was supposed to make us think "time travel and shit" but it just made me think of that creepy stare he put on little Charlotte. If some guy kept looking at my daughter and saying "I'm not going to tell her" over and over, I'd file a complaint. Or maybe someone told him that short sleeves and skinny ties weren't on the Dharma dress code and he got on the next sub out of Dodge.
G. A lot of stuff gets old ("we have to go back"; "the question is WHEN"), but Jack getting dressed down for being a bad leader never gets old. It's like they all get to line up and knee him in the crotch (which would make an excellent episode in the final season, if necessary). Now that Sawyer has moved from "petty conman" to "perpetrator of elaborate ruses" (the difference is in the beard), he has the right to puff out his chest and be all like "I read books and don't try to perform surgery on everyone and all or most of my people are still alive, so, like, scoreboard, ya'll." Although, when he was dropping bombs about Winston Churchill, Jack should have fired back with "Well, Churchill also drank heavily every day, so what now, bitch?"
H. I have to side with Jack a little bit on his dispute. The chapter of your latest novel could have waited until after you had the five-minute sitdown with the group to be all "everybody chill the fuck out, I got this." I'm not saying you have to hotshot a plan, but the "P.S., you're a janitor, see you around" approach isn't very, um, soothing.
I. No one has explained the complex Faradaian rules of interfering with the past to Sayid when he gets visited by Baby Ben, so there's nothing to keep him from pulling some IraqGuyver tricks, breaking out of the cage and strangling the the little 12-year-old to death. No one could blame him, right? Well, besides the Dharma folks, but the kid's own father could care less about him and he HAS to creep everyone else out if he's on Sandwich Patrol. Maybe they keep sending him to feed the prisoners in the hopes that one of them would finally kill him and save them the trouble. He's awkward, he leers at everyone and given his penchant for mind games he has to be the world's most annoying Risk player at this age, so Sayid needs to acknowledge his destiny of kicking Ben's ass and just get it over with.