Thursday, February 26, 2009

Episode Recap: "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"'s episode summary: Locke's fateful mission off the island as Jeremy Bentham is revealed.

Gotta love those one-liners, huh?

This episode was fantastic! Lots of action, lots of characters, some answers, and more questions ... classic Lost!

Here's a bit of what we learned this week:
  • Tunisia is THE exit for the island. Is that where Widmore ended up when he left too? And is that where Charlotte found the bones of the polar bear with the Dharma collar on? I think it is, and I'm guessing Dharma experimented with transporting animals before trying it on people.
  • Matthew Abadon works for Charles Widmore. And just when we think we're getting somewhere with Abadon, learing a bit about his background, BAM - he's dead. That splatter of blood on the back of the car was a shocker for sure. Any insight on what Abadon was trying to do when he visited Hurley a while back?
  • Speaking of Widmore, he remembers meeting lock when he was 17 and living on the island. I assume that's how he knew to send Abadon to Locke when Locke was in rehab.
  • Sayid worked for Ben for 2 years and is now trying to do some good. We still don't know why he turned on Ben though.
  • Walt is dreaming about the island in the future, right? Locke in a suit, surrounded by people trying to kill him ... I have to assume that's coming up soon. The island is not done with Walt, but is it necessary for him to return to the island or can he do his part from where he is?
  • Ben killed Locke?!?!?! I was all set to see him hang himself and when Ben talked him out of it I couldn't imagine what Locke would do to kill himself next. But at the mention of Eloise Hawking, Ben goes psycho on Locke. Creepy.
  • Was Ben lying about Jack buying a ticket to Sydney? I don't remember Jack saying anything about it, but I could be wrong.
  • And what is the deal with Eloise Hawking? Who is she? What is it about her that sets Ben off? And why is he working with her now? Or is he scheming something that we don't know about yet? And what the heck is Locke going to to do Ben on the island?
  • Do we know how long Locke was back in the real world before he killed himself? It has to be long enough for Jack to go from short beard to full-fledged scrub, but does anyone have a clear idea of the time here?

So yes, lots to discuss this week. But before we get to Mr. Linky and your recaps and comments ...

REMINDERS: There are lots of fun things going on over here at the Lost Books Challenge Blog in addition to these weekly episode recaps. Here's a sample:

  • Amy is hosting our first mini-challenge! The prize is a one-year subscription to the Lost Magazine. All you have to do is write a post about one of the topics listed here. The deadline is March 7th (even though the original post says Feb. 28). This should be simple - after all, who doesn't like to discuss the craziness that is Lost?!
  • Amy also has us discussing the Jesus Christ imagery associated with John Locke. Hop on over here to share your thoughts.
  • And of course there are lots of book reviews that you can browse to get more insight into the show. The list is always growing so check back often for more reviews.
  • For those of you who are new here, we'd love for you to officially join our reading challenge. Details can be found by clicking here. But don't worry - you don't have to join in order to keep visiting! We just want you to know you are welcome.
And now its time for Mr. Linky! Post a link to your recap of this week's episode (the link should be to your specific post, not to your main blog address) or start a discussion in the comments. I can't wait to see what you all thought about "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jeremy Bentham

I'm going to be off-line for a few days so I had to post this now instead of waiting to link tomorrow. I can't wait to read all of your theories when I get back.

Once again I came away from this episode feeling like the writers wasted a good opportunity for some suspense. The music and the lead up to John's discovery on the island was so suspenseful that it was almost like they forgot that they already showed us that John was back in the previews from last week. They really need to stop giving so much away. (I can't believe I'm saying that.)

Actually they did answer quite a few questions this week. Mostly about where John was and what he was up to before his untimely death. We found out that the "exit" from the island is in Tunisia. We found out how John got the name "Jeremy Bentham" and how he found the Oceanic Six. But most of all we found out that I WAS RIGHT! I totally predicted (in this post about the Jughead episode) that Ben replaced Whidmore as the leader of the Island. I've never predicted anything correctly on this show before. WoooHooo!

Of course we were still left with lots of new questions. The biggest one being, why did Ben kill John after saving his life? Was he just trying to get information out of him? Did he need to find out about Jin, or the freighter, or Eloise Hawking before could kill him? Or was it the mere revelation that John knew about Mrs. Hawking that pushed Ben over the edge and he never really went there with any intention of killing him before that? I've given up trying to predict what is going through Ben's head.

So now they are all back on the island, including some strangers who were on the plane and Ceasar and Alana. Is Ceasar the new Jack? Does that make Alana the new Kate? It's hard to believe that they can still be introducing new characters at this point, but now John has a whole new crew to confuse and frustrate with his mystical talk about being, not just special, but now actually risen from the dead. Was it Ceasar, with his newly found shotgun, that was shooting at Sawyer and the gang as they paddled the boat in the rain? That is starting to seem sort of likely.

Random thoughts:

It was nice to see Walt again, although I thought he lost some of his acting ability as he grew up.

Was it Kate that took the boat with Lapidis? That seems strange. I would think that Kate and Jack would be pretty much inseperable.

Who are the sides in this war that is coming to the Island? Is it Ben vs. Whidmore?

I was thrilled to see that the Island did not treat Ben special in any way. He crashed in that plane like any other regular guy. Yes! He deserves it.

In the scenes from next week:

Sawyer seeing Kate again after what? 4 days? GAG!

I think Charlotte may be back from the dead already.

The burlap head dresses have returned. Oh how we've missed them.

Book Review: The Coalwood Way by Homer Hickam

First a caveat: I am not a book reviewer, or even a particularly good writer. I love to read and I love LOST, so here I am. Now on to the review.

The Coalwood Way was a beautifully written book. It reminded me of John Grisham's "other" novels, like The Painted House. Hickam's photographic memory of the home of his childhood and the characters that filled it is remarkable. The descriptions of rural America, and particularly small mining communities in the backwoods of West Virginia, in the mid-1950s are excellent. The reader comes away with a real sense of the people and the times.

The story centers around the author, Homer "Sonny" Hickam. Sonny, through the help of a favorite science teacher and the press coverage of Sputnik's flight, develops a great interest in the space program and rocketry in general. He and his like-minded friends begin to design and build their own rockets and plot their trajectory using complicated algorithms and trigonometry. For a bunch of teen aged boys in the a coal mining town in West Virginia this endeavor is completely unheard of and viewed as slightly crazy. Sonny's own family has doubts about his new found interest.

Homer Hickam Sr. is a supervisor in the local coal mine and takes his job, and the lives and livelihood of his employees and neighbors, very seriously. So seriously that he puts his own health and well being on the line daily. He also leaves very little time for his family in his schedule, especially his awkward second son that is more of a brain than a jock....or a coal miner, for that matter. Sonny is also surrounded by his no-nonsense, long-suffering mother and a host of townspeople that know his business practically before he knows it himself. The "Rocket Boys", as Sonny and his space loving friends are called, spend all of their spare time thrilling the town with rocket launches and dreams of going to Cape Canaveral to work after college (a dream that Sonny realizes, while many of the others never make it further than the coal mine down the street).

Throughout the book Sonny is desperately trying to identify the source of the gnawing sadness that overtakes him occasionally. Following the advice of "Little Richard", the preacher of the local African American congregation, Sonny finally discovers that his desire for his father's approval, and fear that he can never attain it, are causing his melancholy. As he tries to deal with these feelings he finds it difficult to keep the Rocket Boys supplied with the properly crafted parts and maintain straight-A's for the first time in his academic career.

This is a beautiful novel about teen aged self-discovery, family dynamics and small town mentality. Sonny sees discrimination, domestic violence, murder, and labor strikes play out in his town, but he also sees generosity, kindness, and an amazing example of community spirit. Hickam is quick to point out the good, the bad and the ugly in his hometown and it's people.

I would highly recommend this book, and Hickam's other two books Rocket Boys and Torpedo Junction as well as the movie October Sky, starring Jake Gyllenhall, Laura Dern and Chris Cooper which was based on Hickam's life. It is a great movie that really captures the feeling of the novels.

As far as how this applies to LOST.....I have no clue. The only correlation I can see is that several of the characters on the show (Jack, Kate, Locke, Sun) have Daddy issues just like Sonny does. Unless rocketry or coal mining show up in the show at some point that father-child relationship is the only relevant issue I can find in the book.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

John Locke: Christ figure?

Rebecca commented on my recap last week that we should be discussing the Christ imagery around Locke. It is something that's really puzzling me, so why not?

First of all, it's puzzling me because why Locke? I mean, a lot of people can't stand him! However, he has always seemed like he absolutely believes he has a destiny, so I guess in that regard it sort of does.

So let's look at the evidence:

1) Locke has always been sort of "the chosen one"

2) John Locke's dead body flew back to the island on airline 316. (this one just screams it to me)

3) Locke sacrificed his life to save others. (i.e. we are led to believe at this point, that only his death would get the attention of the Oceanic 6 and get them back to the island to save the others)

4) Only Locke can see and commune with Jacob whom we are led to believe is a sort of god of the island or something.

5) Not to mention a nice little conversation about Jesus and doubting Thomas between Ben and the biggest skeptic Jack shortly before they go.

Feel free to add more in comments.

It seems from previews that Locke is going to, um, raise from the dead? I have to admit I just don't understand how in the world this fits into the LOST story. I need help with this....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Book Review: Island, by Aldous Huxley

Here's an excerpt from my review of ISLAND, by Aldous Huxley.
The very last page of my copy of ISLAND gives a bit of info about the author. One line states “his later work reflects an interest in mysticism and the effect of the consciousness-expanding drugs.” That single sentence goes a long way to explain ISLAND.

Boy did I ever hate this book.
Yeah, it was *that* bad. If you want to find out why you can read the rest of my review here.

A commenter on my blog wanted to know why I continued to read it if I didn't like it so much. Well, I was CONVINCED that there must be some redeeming quality, some fascinating tidbit, that would make it all worthwhile. Yeah, not so much.

Friday, February 20, 2009

LOST Books Mini-Challenge #1

Are you ready for a little challenge? I thought so!

One of the things I love about LOST is that there are endless aspects of the show to discuss. We can spend hours discussing the mythology, the relationships, the motives of the characters, the meaning of it all.

So our first mini-challenge is a writing challenge. Choose one of the following topics and write an essay on your blog about it. Get as creative as you want! Be passionate, be crazy, entertain us, show off your LOST knowledge.

The Rules
Your essay must be posted by midnight Pacific Standard Time on February 28. You do not have to be participating in the LOST books challenge to participate, however you must include a link back to the LOST books challenge blog to qualify. Your essay must be on one of the topics listed below, but you can take it any direction you want.

The Prize
A one year subscription to the Lost Magazine!!!
Your essay published on the LOST Books Challenge Blog

The Judges
Swapna, from S.Krishna's Books and LOST devotee
Kristin from This is Kristin, LOST fan and one of the nicest people God put on this earth.

The Topics

Love on LOST
LOST and Literacy
The Science of LOST
Faith in LOST
LOST: The Fan community
History of the Island
Smokey: Not just a bear anymore
Villains on LOST
LOST: Dysfunctional families

I had to save some for future contests folks! I hope you can find something to write about from these topics that will keep us entertained. Good luck! Just send a link to your post when it's up to lostbookschallengeATgmailDOTcom

Ratings are back up!

With an episode as good as the one last night, it is no surprise that viewer ratings are going back up. Read all about it here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Episode Recap: "316" says, "The way back to the island is revealed to members of the Oceanic 6, but there's trouble ahead when not all of them wish to return."

Whoa, was there a lot going on in this episode or what?! Here's a quick list of the interesting points I can remember right now:
  • Ajira Airlines! That explains the water bottles in the canoe from last week's show, right? But does that mean people from the new plane were the ones shooting at Sawyer and company?
  • We have confirmation the Eloise Hawking IS Faraday's mother.
  • Dharma built the room in the church basement.
  • The island really IS moving (physically, not just in time).
  • Frank Lapidis is back!
And of course, there are more questions than ever:
  • Who the heck beat up Ben?
  • What did Kate do with Aaron?
  • Why was Sayid a prisoner?
  • Who are are two newest castaways (I'm assuming the gal with Sayid and the only other guy in first class are important somehow)?
  • Why does Hurley have a guitar case? Does it have something to do with Charlie?
  • Will Desmond end up back on the island?
  • Did Locke's departure "fix" the island in any way?
I'm sure there are lots of things that I've missed, but did you notice the two new books for our challenge list? On the plane, Ben was reading James Joyce's ULYSSES, and Hurley was carrying Y: THE LAST MAN comic book.

One commenter on the roundtable discussion at pointed out that the "lamp post" reference is from the Narnia books. You can read about it here in comment # 12.

Oh, and the best line of the night?

Jack: How can you read?
Ben: My mother taught me.

Um, did we forget that Ben's mother died in childbirth?! (No, I can't take credit for that one - I read it here.)

Add your recap post to Mr. Linky or share your thoughts in the comments - I can't wait to see what you all thought!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blogging About LOST

Recently I came across a few blogs that are completely dedicated to LOST ... now *that* is true fandom.

Here are a few to go check out (you know, in all that free time you have between episodes of LOST):
  • Long Live Locke - can you tell who is her favorite character? And she even got to meet him!
  • Lost Tidbits - random analysis of the show, including the ever-present numbers
  • The Lost Blog - they have a whole section on theories, among other things
  • Lost Addicts Blog - hmm, now that one sounds like a lot of us ...
  • Lost Season 5 Blog - one of the cool things at this blog is a copy of an page cut from the script
  • The Lost Diary - minute by minute analysis of the show (I've mentioned this one before)
Do you know of any more that should be added to this list? Post a comment letting me know, and I'll edit the list to include them.

UPDATE: Here's what you've added to the list so far ...

Keep 'em comin', keep 'em comin'!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Shrinking viewer stats and also several odd theories

Ah, it is Friday the 13th and I have bad news and some odd theories ... perfect timing, no?

First, the Bad News ... reports that LOST is steadily losing viewers with each episode this season. Honestly, I thought this past week's episode was much better than any since the season opener, so maybe the trend will begin reversing itself?

Read all about it here then come back and let me know what you think.

Are you more/less pleased with the show? Are you ready to abandon the island? Why/why not?

And now the Odd Theories ...

Time Travel:

i09's post discusses in some detail the three types of time travel we've seen on LOST. In support of one theory the blogger cites a book referenced in the show: “Note that in one episode, we see one of the Others reading Stephen Hawking's A Brief History Of Time, and it's open to a page on black holes.” Ah, the literary references ... how I love them!

There are some great comments with theories on why/how the island is disappearing. One theory is that the nuke blows up the island at some point in the future, which is why it isn’t there anymore.

The Origin of the Four-Toed Statue:

This blogger *really* went to the far reaches of strangeness to come up with this theory. It has to do with Daniel going WAY back in time and making the island what it is today. Um ... yeah ... I'm not really on board with this one ...

Do you buy into any of the theories? Which one, and why? Or maybe you have your own theory you'd like to share?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Episode Recap: "This Place Is Death"

Here's the official recap from
Locke takes it upon himself to stop the island's increasingly violent
shifts through time. Meanwhile, Ben hits a snag in his attempt to reunite
the Oceanic 6 and bring them back to the island.

So, what did we learn this week? In no particular order: Mrs. Hawking is Daniel's mom, CS Lewis is dead (at least for now) AND she was a Dharma-ite, the smoke monster has something to do with a temple covered in hieroglyphics, and Sun's daughter is alive and well. That's quite a bit for one episode!

What do you have to say about "This Place Is Death"? Link up to your review/analysis here if you've got one, or get the conversation started in the comments.

UPDATE: Here's a link to the roundtable discussion of this episode at The Lost Diary's recap won't be up until tomorrow, so you'll have to come back later for that one.

2nd UPDATE: Ok, Lost Diary's post is finally up. There are some CRAZY theories in the comments about reincarnation and who exactly Christian is.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Book Review: The Survivors of the Chancellor, by Jules Verne

This is the story of the sinking of the fictitious ship Chancellor and the ways in which some of the passengers and crew managed to survive. Here's an excerpt from my review:
It is believed that Verne based his tale on two [then] recent disasters: that of the French frigate "Medusa" which sunk off the coast of Africa in 1816 and that of the British ship "Sarah Sands" which caught fire in 1857. So unlike many of Verne's other stories, this one could actually happen. *shiver*

There are not a lot of direct parallels between the book and the show, but it is most definitely about surviving a horrible disaster and that is parallel enough for me.
You can read the rest on my blog at this link.

Interview with Daniel Dae Kim (aka Jin)

Head over to SciFiWire to check out the interview they did with Daniel Dae Kim ... but make sure you've seen last week's episode (The Little Prince) before you go over there as there are spoilers included.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Little Prince

FYI: "The Little Prince" is the title of a book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Add another one to the list.

Episode Recap: "The Little Prince"

Here's what had to say:
Kate discovers that someone knows the identity of Aaron's parents. On the island, the dramatic shifts through time place the remaining survivors in extreme peril.
And here's a clip from this week's show:

Personally, I thought this episode was a bit of a letdown ... except for the part with Jin - yeah! But the rest of the show was a bit predictable, and nothing really big happened. But that's just my opinion - what do YOU have to say? Post a link to your recap post in Mr. Linky below.

UPDATE: Here are two more links to check out - The Lost Diary's recap and's round table.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winner of Season 3 DVDs! has spoken and Heather is the winner of the Season 3 DVD set! Congrats, Heather!

Monday, February 2, 2009

If You Can't Wait....

See four sneak peeks for Wednesday here.