Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Pompatus of Lost: 2.03 -- Locked After Dark

Previously on Lost: Jack bonded with the mysterious Desmond over Powerade. Later, Jack's key would get all magnetized, perhaps sowing the seeds of doubt? Locke demonstrated his computer savvy, and Michael and Sawyer of the Rainbow PUSH Oceanaire Club and Rafting Society Unlimited found their way back to shore, where they ran into Jin--and Les Autres.

Scene up on the Other Shores of the Isla de Encanta. The newly landed Rainbow PUSH Oceanaire Club and Rafting Society Unlimited is about to face off against the Others. Sawyer sets his hair to kill and gets set to dispense some of the homespun con-man fisticuffs that have so far solved none of his problem. The Others brought big sticks to the fight. No fair. Our heroes are dragged into the woods.

There, they're tossed in a hole and locked up. We see now who the Alpha Other is--it's Adebisi! Okay! Here's where I'm thinking that there's nothing to worry about. This is where Michael should gather Sawyer and Jin and say, "All right. I know the deal with this shit. Motherfucker's a crazy drugged out loon. Don't eat the spaghetti sauce--there's microfine ground up glass in that shit. The boxing tournament is fixed. Watch out for all the neo-Nazis who are subliminating their fear of totally queering out by beating the shit out of people. And whatever McManus promises you, don't count on it--it always goes wrong. That man is Fate's little bitch. Stick with me and we'll get through this. I can do this time. Shit. I can do this time sitting down! Sitting in a wheelchair, preferably."

Now, I trained at the Television Without Pity Pop Cultural Academy--mainly auditing classes on Anvil Theory and Snark Nomenclature (auditing=snuck in and hid in the back of the lecture hall), so I might as well identify the first dropped anvil right here and now: Adebisi=so totally Rose's husband. Obvs. And when Little Miss I Love The Lord is finally reunited with her Lord of the Flies, the castaway sex is going to be so fucking asstastic that the black smoke stompy monster's going to flee in terror.

Meanwhile, flashback time. You may not know this, but at some point between being conned out of his kidney, getting paralyzed, training for his walkabout and getting in a plane crash, whole months of Locke's life went by without anything remotely interesting happening. In Locke's case, he spent some time trapped in a Chuck Palahniuk novel, going to support groups full of whiny bitches just so he can throw his stolen organ trump card. It's there that he meets Helen, played by Katey Segal, newly freed from John Ritter's tragic legacy.

Poof. We zip back to the story, revealing our heroes down in Desmond's Geodesic Den, and once again, we're seeing quality scenework that was featured in episode one of this season, with a new twist--we see Kate climb down out of the air duct, grab a gun, and take on Desmond from behind. In the melee, someone squeezes off a shot, and it takes out the Commodore 64 that runs Desmond's world-altering Plinko machine.

The destruction of the Commodore 64 totally reminds Locke of this time he fucked Katey Segal, only to leave her bedside to go hang out by his dad's house--but this time, his dad actually got in the car with him, and he had the opportunity to ask him why he tricked him out of his kidney, only to be told: "There is no why." For the philosophically inclined, by the way, that phrase is a sort of shibboleth, and should clue you into the ongoing debate between Intrinsicism--as espoused by Locke, whose beliefs in what the Isla De Encanta is all about can't be shaken because to him, they're self-evident and need no explanation--and Subjectivism--espoused by Jack, whose need to know the reasons why everything is the way it is lead him to similar batshit extremes in this episode. Yeah, we kicked a little post-grad knowledge to the people. We're like that.

Back in the hatch, Kate is dispatched to retrieve Sayid's magic fingers from the verdant valley of Shannon's labial folds and put them to work fixing the Commodore 64. Jack, freaking, wants some answers from Desmond, who provides them, and they are simple: he was on a round the world race when he ran aground on the island, totally ran into Kelvin, who gave him some food, taught him to work the Plinko machine so that he could save the world every 108 minutes. Fucking obvious, really, and hey, there's a movie about the whole thing, maybe Jack should watch it. That's just great, thinks Jack. One of the known benefits of being stranded on a deserted island is that fact that you rarely encounter the sort of schmuck who, within fifteen minutes of meeting him, is totally insisting that he unspool his crappy student film for your viewing pleasure. The film is called Orientation, which totally sounds like it's going to be some boring-ass Dogma 95 piece of crap.

Back at the beach, we're introduced to Prisoner Number 4815162342: Ana Lucia. She was last seen flirting with Jack at the airport bar back in Sydney. And don't worry, love triangle fans--like Kate, she's preternaturally hot, too.

Back at Desmond's place, Locke and Jack are setting up for the First Annual Hatch Film Festival. The movie is old and grainy and contains content that'll have Lost fans Googling their fingers to the bone looking for things like The Dharma Initiative and Dr. Marvin Candle and Hansa Foundation (or Hanso Foundation, I have no Tivo to check--it's worth pointing out that there is an actual Hansa Foundation) and other shit like that. The upshot of the film has something to do with the para-sciences and utopia building and the establishment of a station on the Isla de Encanta and the later discovery of a powerful electromagnetism that has something to do with the numbers and the countdown. It's hard to follow, with the Stereolab-meets-Devendra Banhart soundtrack and the distracting pictures of polar bears. But, hey, there's a nice shout-out in there to the University of Michigan.

Meanwhile, back in flashbackland, Locke and Helen are celebrating their six-month anniversary of uncomfortable coupling. Helen gives him a gift--the key to her apartment, but she makes him promise to stop sneaking out of her bed to go hang out in front of his dad's house. There's a word for women who stick it out with men with crippling daddy issues for six months--desperate. Locke promises to try to try to try, but ultimately, he can't help himself. Helen finds him in front of his dad's house again, chucks his car keys and tells Locke she can help him stop visiting his dad. I'm guessing her solution maybe involves a couple of quick sledgehammers to his spinal column, Misery-steez. That's what I wish, anyway. But actually, she aims to save him through "leaps of faith" and other helpings of psychobabblecakes. So, at least we know who it was that first enabled Locke's weirdo fixation with Messianic horseshit.

Meanwhile, back at the Oswald Island Penal Colony, Sawyer and his moody hair are fixing to make a prison break--and not one based on comical happenstance, like the Fox show of the same name--but one that will employ the hack film noir "sick prisoner" trick. At this point, Ana Lucia seems to have a lot of very pointed questions for the surviving members of the Rainbow PUSH Oceanaire Club and Rafting Society Unlimited. And that's when you know--this isn't Ana Lucia: it's Anvil Lucia. She's a spy in the house of Sawyer, working for Adebisi and Les Autres to suss out what the Rainbow PUSH Oceanaire Club and Rafting Society Unlimited are all about. Ooooh, snap! Sawyer got served! But not before Sawyer gives Ana Lucia a nickname: Cupcake. Because she's tasty. And she has a creamy filling. Of sweet, creamy deceit.

Jack, having had a final tete-a-tete from the fleeing Desmond returns to find Kate, Sayid, Hurley and Locke sweating over the now repaired computer and what numbers to enter to stop the countdown. I love that Hurley's having none of it, encouraging Locke to press enter with the wrong numbers, but it's jack himself who supplies the correct combination. That's when Locke, realizing that there may be someone in the viewing audience who hasn't yet caught on to the fact that he and Jack are the two main competitors for the position of High Island Priestess of Crippling Daddy Issues, asks Jack to be the guy to push the button.

Jack of course, is all: No, you push the button. And Locke is all: Nuh-UH, you push it. And Jack is all: Forget it, I aint pushing it. And Locke is like: I'm not gonna push it. And Jack says: Let's get Mikey, he'll push anything. But Mikey's over all chilled out in a hole on the "Other" side of the island.

Finally, Locke says, "Take a leap of faith!" Because that's his answer for everything. What cereal is a better part of a balanced breakfast? Leap of faith. Fries with that? Leap of faith. What do you wanna bet he leapt to his faith one too many times? Wife of DCeiver, right now, is yelling, "Dude! The leap of faith is NOT pushing the button." But Jack, feeling called out, finally relents, and pushes the button with one second on the clock. The alarms stop. Locke sidles up to Jack, relieved, and says, "I'll take the first shift." So after all they've been through on this island--the marauding polar bears, the savage "Others", the stompy black smoke, the Evil Stevedores and their freaky, freaky pasts--now they have to get a fucking job? So effing worst.

Next week: Hurley has to hear a lot of shit about hiding food in the hatch from a guy who's hiding heroin in a Virgin Mary figurine.


DCepticon said...

Don't forget the teaser of Jin speaking amazingly good English. I haven't been this excited to see Daniel Dae Kim act since Babylon 5: Crusade went off the air and he was some kind of psi astronaut.

Ed said...

I was half wondering if Jack would press 'execute' in just enough time so that the countdown clock would read 007.

DCepticon said...

Oh one other thing. Did you catch that Jack's wife vehicular victim was Shannon's daddy?

Krieghund said...

DCeiver, you rock, dude! Love the commentary. Incisive and funny. There is a Disney-run "Hanso Foundation" website. It's cute. The Imagineers must have had fun playing "hide the link," which then shows you the Orientation film.

Anonymous said...

and the book reference when Desmond grabs the drugs/ or what ever is
The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien and the other is the The Turn of the Screw -- Henry James (when they are rumbling through the library looking for the Orientation Tape) FWIW

Anonymous said...

it's an apple ][+

Meak said...

Assumption 1) Locke leapt one giant faith-leap too far and smashed his spinal column up. Don't worry, Jack knows how to count to 5, and untangle angel-hair pasta, so everything's gonna be alright.
Assumption 2) Korean men have electro-magnetic receivers in their brains, so when Sayid forgets to push the button because Shannon's sitting on his face, he goes all matrix and learns 'Engrish' in 108 nanoseconds. The polar bears also learn Korean, in a bizarre twist of fate.

Amy said...

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