Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Pompatus of Lost: 2.07--Tails of the Shitty

"Welcome to Oceanic Air! How can I help you?"

"Hi. I'm just checking in. I have a question. I couldn't help but notice that I didn't get a seat assignment with my ticket."

"Oh, let me look Mr...DCeiver...yes. Well, we have just a few questions before we can give your seat assignment."



"Like, frequent-flyer accounts, exit/bulkhead row sorts of things?"

"No. We at Oceanic seat out passengers according to some background questions that we ask all our passengers."

"Like what?"

"Well, for example, would you say you have an interesting back story?"

"Come again?"

"Back story. Your past. Would you say it's compelling?"

"I don't understand."

"Well, from your past, would you say you have any deep-seated worries or shames? Any profound sadnesses? Any incredibly melodramatic events?"

"Well, no. No. Not really."

"How's your relationship with your father?"

"My father? It's good."

"By 'good', do you mean tortured, resentful, estranged..."

"What? No! No."


"How is that good?"


"Resentful? Estranged? That's not good."

"From a storytelling angle, it can be very good."

"Um. Okay."

"What brought you to Australia?"


"And by vacation, are we talking, say...running a con, or stalking a murder victim, on the lam from Federal Marshals? Are you undercover in th war on terror?"

"What? No!"

"Tracking your drunk and desperate father?"

"What did I just tell you about my father?"

"Sorry, sir. Are you by any chance pregnant with a magical mystery baby."

"Okay. Look. This is retardulous."

"4. 8. 15. 16. 23. 42."

"Sigh. Is that my seat assignment?"

"Huh? Should it be?"




"4. 8. 15.--"

"Yes! I heard you before! What are those numbers?"

"Do those numbers make you upset?"

"Are you fucking kidding me?"

"You seem upset?"

"I'm upset because I don't understand what you are talking about!"

"The numbers don't mean anything to you?"

"They have meaning to me only in that they appear to be the idiot sounds coming out of your idiot lips!"

"OK. So you're quick to anger?"


"And the numbers mean nothing to you."


"Hmm! Interesting! You're prone to just being silent for long periods."

"Look. I don't know what this is about. I just want my fucking seat assignment. Okay? Is that too fucking hard for you to grasp with your ignorant dipshit brain? Give me my seat assignment!"

"Sure thing, sir. 40G."

"That's like, back in the tail."



"If you had a compelling personal narrative, we could move you into the center section."

"No. That's fine."

"Thank you for flying Oceanic."

"Suck it, hole."

So, this week, in place of your regularly scheduled Lost episode, we get a high-concept clip show about the Tailies and their tranformation into the Desert Island Dicks. We find out that their group suffered a tremendous hardship in inverse proportion to that hardship being interesting to watch. Their story could be summed up in a few sentences, but knowing me, I'll find a way to draw it out to some sort of stupid proportion. One thing these characters lack are those highly regarded jaunts to Flashbackistan. But, in that case, I will happily provide them.

Previouslies: There are none! Get it? Because we're starting at the beginning again! So. Edgy.

DAY ONE: Scene up on an empty beach, destined to remain un-Jackercized. Noise. Whatever could it be? More noise! You get the sinking suspicion that this placid beach scene is about to be interrupted! But by what? And moments later, the tail section of the plane crashes onto all the anvils that were placed below it to cushion the blow.

Chaos ensues. Everyone's screaming, drowning, dying, wailing. Ana Lucia is running around, saving people. So, she's the Jack from the bitchcake, tequila and tonic swilling bizarro universe of the tail section. Also, Echo is saving people. We see the teddy bear from a few episodes ago.

Later, Echo asks Cindy to watch the children. He's going to take on the task of retrieving all the dead bodies from the ocean. Ana Lucia's not so far gone yet that she insists the children help in order to toughen them up. Libby sets someone's leg fracture. Ana asks if she's a doctor.


Libby is at medical school. It is the end of her first year. She is talking to a colleague.

Libby's colleague: I hear you are dropping out of medical school, after only a year.

Libby: Yes. I am going to be a clinical psychologist, instead.

"No. I'm a clinical psychologist," Libby says.

Meanwhile, some guy comes running out of the woods. He is totally evil. He yells that there is a man stuck in a tree back in the woods. "But, hey, I'm totally evil!" he says, adding, "My bone dry garments sure are comfortable. Evilly so."

Ana Lucia runs into the woods with Bone Dry, Totally Evil Guy. She sees Bernard stuck up a tree. Bernard is still strapped into his seat, a dead passenger strapped in next to him. The seat is perilously close to falling. Ana tells him to be calm. Bernard will not be calmed. Ana tells him to be calm again. Bernard tries. Ana tells him to unbuckle his seatbelt. Bernard does so, after a fashion. Ana tells him to grab a branch. Bernard says he can't, because he has to wait until seconds before the seat falls to grab the branch. "Someone has to stoke a little dramatic tension!" he yells. "Well what should I do, then?" Ana Lucia asks. "I don't know," Bernard says, "Just keep yelling at me to grab the branch, tell me how to do it...just fill a half-minute or so." Ana Lucia complies. Bernard grabs the tree branch. The seat falls. Ana yells up that she is coming up to get him. The cameras refrain from documenting this implausibility.

Out on the beach, Bone Dry Dude is trying to start a fire. He introduces himself as Goodwin. Hey! It's Goodwin. Remember what happened to Goodwin? Ana asks where he learned to start a fire.


Goodwin is in Cameroon, serving in the Peace Corps. He and another Corps member that I am naming Ferdinand Rubella McIzzlehahhey are standing over a freshly built fire.

Ferdinand Rubella McIzzlehahhey: And that's how you start a fire. You think you can remember that, Goodwin.

Goodwin: Yes. Thank you, Ferdinand Rubella McIzzlehahhey. This was a very useful skill to learn.

Ferdinand Rubella McIzzlehahhey: Indeed. Just do me a favor.

Goodwin: What is it?

Ferdinand Rubella McIzzlehahhey: Don't use this skill...for evil.

Goodwin: Oh, I won't. I promise. Ha ha ha. MMWAA-HAA-HAA! BWWAA-HAA-HAA-HAA!!!

Ferdinand Rubella McIzzlehahhey: Okay, dude. Well, this is the Peace Corps, so I better tend to our main Peace Corps duty--getting unfathomably fucked up smoking local weed.

"I learned it in the Peace Corps," Goodwin says...evilly.

Bernard is talking to Echo, after sussing out that he was the person who gathered the dead from the ocean. He asks if he pulled any African-Americans out of the water. His wife is African-American, you see, and you know what they say about the relative buoyancy of different races and all. Echo tells him that he didn't pull any African-Americans out of the water, and that racial stereotyping isn't cool.

Everyone goes to sleep. That night, the Tailies awake to the sounds of struggle. Ambling, aimless running around ensues. They discover Echo in the woods, covered in blood, squatting over two dead figures. I swear to God, this is shot to make it look like Echo was eating these people.

But, of course, we as the viewer suspect this is bullshit, and the suspense only lasts for a commercial break. We return and it's Day 2. The Tailies have sussed out what happened. Other islanders came, took away three castaways, tried to grab Echo, didn't realize that Echo was played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and got their asses handed to them. Ana wants to get the hell off the beach, but others counter with yadda-yadda signal fire poopshoot McCakersons. Echo decides that it's time to start fashioning a weapon, and figures, what the hell, I'm traumatized, maybe I wont speak for forty days.

Day 3. Dude's leg infection has gotten worse. Ana's all, "Whatevs." Already, she's become BitchQueen VanUnfeelerson. This bodes well.

Day 5. Dude is dead.

Day 7. The Tailies play a rousing game of chase the chicken. Goodwin catches said chicken--more of those mad skillz you learn in the Peace Corps. Goodwin breaks the chicken's neck--did you notice how fucking evil he was when he did it? Because it was evil. Echo is still working on his spear. Does he want some chicken?


Echo is walking with his friend, Vercengetorix, at a mall.

Vercengetorix: Hey, Echo. You hungry?

Echo: Yes.

Vercengetorix: Wanna stop by Mr. Clucks?

Echo: No. I am allergic to chicken.

No, he doesn't.

Day 12. Everyone's fashioning weapons. Ana Lucia looks like she's making a deadly-ass field hockey stick. Figures. All the field hockey players I ever knew were cold, unfeeling types without a trace of human empathy. This dude named Nathan comes out of the woods. Ana asks him where's he's been for two hours, to which Nathan replies he's been using the bathroom. For two hours?--Ana wonders aloud. Well, they are malnourished, traumatized and stranded in the tropics--it's entirely plausible that the guy is so sick with tummy badness that each dump is like shitting out two hours worth of liquid fire. But anyway, the Tailies have a Bathroom Buddy System, and Nathan didn't follow it. And so, Ana Lucia qualifies for the finals of the Olympic Jump To Conclusions with a new world record--but who can blame her, most Lost fans probably gave a little brain time thinking "Nathan=Ethan?!?"

That night, the Others come back and make off with nine other people, including the children. Jeez-o-flips. Maybe post a fucking guard, Tailies? I don't know--maybe you thought those weapons you were making would, like, spring to life and float around hitting people--but it seems to me like it's not much of a stretch to consider having guard duty, seeing as you already suspect Nathan of treachery and live in the company of a guy who killed two of them with his bare hands.

The attack causes the Tailies to descend into another one of their patented chaotic arguments. Echo's not talking is an issue. Nathan's epic two-hour shit is an issue. The fact that Goodwin suggested they stay on the beach is an issue. They finally decide to decamp and seek a safer shelter.

Day 15. The Tailies are three days into one of what will become known as the Ana Lucia Death March series. Believe it or not, I once was forced to attend a Summer Day Camp that was like three times as worse as what the Tailies are going through. So, from The DCeiver to the Reston Homeowner's Association--bite my ass, suburban dickweeds. The Tailies come to a river, and Nathan basically throws a little crybaby bitch fest, refusing to go any further. So they stop and make a camp.

Day 17. Ana Lucia is digging a hole. Libby tells her that she's become creeped out by Nathan. She's one intuitive psychologist, isn't she? Ana growls that that's why she's digging the hole.

Day 19. While setting a rabbit trap, Ana Lucia tosses Nathan down her hole, and a million Camille Paglia acolytes begin considering this vagina metaphor. The Tailies break out into argument. Ana says she doesn't remember Nathan being on the plane. Cindy backs her up on that. Others wonder how she could have possibly memorized everyone's face. Jesus. Left to their own devices, these turds are stupid enough to come up with Intelligent Design on their own. Ana is determined to break Nathan, but all he tells her is that he's from Canada. This serves as a painful reminder that Evangeline Lilly is, also, from Canada.

Day 23. Ana's into Day 4 of her awesome plan to break Nathan by keeping him in a hole. Nathan's over it, pulling an Echo. Ana sees something behind him, and throws rocks at him so he'll move. Turns out it's some fruit. So someone's been feeding him. There's absolutely nothing funny to say about any of this.


Nathan is down in the hole, with the DCeiver.

Nathan: God. I wish that they had put Evangeline Lilly down here with me.

DCeiver: You're telling me!

That night, Goodwin comes and helps Nathan out of the hole. He tells Nathan that he's worried, and that he's got to get away for his own safety. Goodwin's packed a little jungle etui filled with foodstuffs. Nathan looks relieved, and starts to head out. And Goodwin snaps his neck.

So bored, now. The Tailies awake and get freshly a-freaked by the dead Nathan. So they head off again, in search of a shelter. Which brings us to Day 27--and it's starting to feel like it's actually been 27 days. But, finally, the Tailies come to their version of the Hatch, which is actually the Bunker, all marked up with Dharma symbols and the same Quarantine sign on the door. It's nothing like the Hatch, all fashioned up to be Desmond's bachelor pad, where a motherfucker can take a shower and eat an Apollo Bar or make a smoothie while grooving to Quadrophenia in relative comfort. No. The Bunker is definitely the short straw as far as Dharma Initiative assignments go. It's more like the Greg Initiative. Whoever holed up here got to rot away in the dank, playing with somebody's glass eye and reading a mouldering Bible.

But one of the things they find is a radio, so, unless this is one of your first Lost episodes or you are a complete moron, you've already flashed ahead to Boone up in the Spirit of Saint Smack radioing out his message and getting "We are the survivors of Flight 815" as a response, mere seconds before he plunged to his plane crash death--total shout-out to Final Destination steez.

Well, the Tailies want to use the radio, but Goodwin evils that they'll need to get to higher ground. He offers to go, but Ana Lucia counters by saying she'll go along with him. What follows is a bunch of awkward scenes between people who are going to get into a fight to the death but must engage in the battle of half-wits first. The outcome isn't so much telegraphed as it is dumped over the viewer like a bucket of Gatorade. One interesting thing happens, though. Ana Lucia gets Goodwin to confess that the remaining Tailies weren't kidnapped because they weren't "good people." So, Lost fans who have come to believe the island is purgatory or the Instant Karma Coffeehouse or something have fresh meat to chew on.

Ana and Goodwin fight, and Goodwin ends up getting impaled on Ana Lucia's long spear--causing the aforementioned Camille Paglia acolytes to start frantically revising their thoughts on the gender/sexual dialectic being offered. She returns alone to camp and, when asked about Goodwin's whereabouts, simply says: "We're safe now."

It seems to come across as "Crazy ass Ana Lucia offed someone else in a paranoid frenzy." So when, in the last episode, she admonished the cross-island trekkies to "Remember Goodwin", is she saying, "Remember that I will kill any of you at any time I feel like it?" I mean, if she disclosed that she surmised that Goodwin was an infiltrator and got a confession from him, why would she tell them, "Remember Goodwin"? I'm at a a title of this show, I'm afraid.

Day 41 finally, mercifully, comes, and along with it, the moment we knew was coming from the moment the radio was discovered. Hearing someone else out there speaking of Flight 815 momentarily gets the Tailies excited. But Ana Lucia steps in, turns the radio off, and then proceeds to launch into a premise for her actions that's so stupid that you have to wonder just how cowed and retarded the Tailies are. She tells the Tailies that the voice she heard was nothing more than the Others trying to "draw them out." What the fuck? Huh? The only living people that know the Tailies have found a radio are the Tailies themselves? So Ana Lucia thinks that the Others plan to get them is to use a radio transmission to contact people who, for all they know, don't have a radio, and hope to get lucky with their quarry turning the radio on at just the right moment? This line of thinking is just signifcantly stupid.


Ana Lucia is seating in a bar, sipping on a tequila and tonic. Wife of DCeiver walks in.

Wife of DCeiver: Excuse me. Are you Ana Lucia?

Ana Lucia: Yes.

Wife of DCeiver: Hi. You're a bitch and a moron and you drink the stupidest cocktails.

Ana Lucia: Hey! I write for the GogBlog!

Wife of DCeiver: Well, duh, you fucking ass.

Ana huffs that it's high time everyone gets used to their existence. "This is our life now! Get used to it! We're not some other group of castaways, led in part by a capable leader type who's a medical doctor, alternating with some kind of strange guru figure who's singularly inspired by the island to help us find ways to challenge ourselves and make sense of our lives. We don't live with people who work together to save one another or build golf courses or play guitar or are good with electronics or are capable of intimacy! Our lives are not filled with fascinating moments where we realize important truths about ourselves and our pasts, and we aren't living a story that can be told in such a way that it evokes mystery or wonder or elemental weirdness. Look at yourselves! No one's gathered around watercoolers wondering about us! No one's going to the Wikipedia to learn about the symbology of this stick here, or this leaf, or these pants I'm wearing! We're fucking miserable, and we're fucking boring."

Ana runs off, to sit and cry. Echo approaches her and tells her that it's going to be okay, presumably because everybody's SAG dues have been paid for the 2005-06 fiscal year. Ana says something to the effect of "After forty days, now you're talking." Echo points out in turn that it took her forty days to cry. So that's what this episode is about: Lent. I gave up eating pecans for Lent last year, and my life was a non-stop, Amy Poehler-induced full body orgasm compared to this episode.

So, what is the "extended" ending? Basically, a clip show of everything we've already seen this season! The Rainbow PUSH Oceanaire Club and Rafting Society Unlimited wash ashore, get caught, get tossed in the hold, get betrayed, get disarmed, get released, get taken to the Bunker, and are dragged across the island for Shannon's date with a bullet. So stupid. So worst. For this I miss the Law And Order teaser? Their lucky Jerry Orbach is dead and can't make one of his patented wisecracks.


JJ Abrams is meeting with an ABC Executive.

Abrams: Who greenlit this? This was shit.

ABC Executive: The extra footage really helped us in the Nielsons.

Abrams: Yeah, by pure bullshit!

ABC Executive: Oh, this from the guy who couldn't make up his mind what Alias was going to be about! How many times did you make us start that show over! We need a gimmick for November sweeps, then we're taking one.

Abrams: Hey. I'm not above gimmicks. I killed Maggie Fucking Grace, okay! I'm just concerned that people are going to say this was the worst episode ever!

ABC Executive: Don't go all crybaby on me. We'll find someone to polish this turd.

No you won't.


Anonymous said...

As much as I was looking forward to this episode, you're right...nothing happened. We didnt really learn anything. The only thing i learned is the USAtoday lies, Eko seems to not be a nigerian drug runner.


DCepticon said...

Eko, is the one good thing that has come out of all of this. Much the same as any good story of impoverished humanity you need one crazy religious guy making everybody feel nervous. Often this role was played by the incredible Telly Sevallas, God rest his soul. Did any body catch the special Lost Scene from Lost the next morning on Good Morning America. The kids find a giant crate on the beach and everyone from the tail gathers round. What could it be? Food? Clothes? Tiger Balm? Nope its a box full of boom-a-rangs. That was when the anvil hit me in the head. This isn't purgatory, its The Outback Steakhouse, No rules just right. Ah, Metaphore.

Paulo said...

We do learn a few new things: the Others are Good People, and the Good ... Win! Wow, the writers must have been patting each other's backs sore on that piece of literary brilliance.

"See? His name's Goodwin? And the Others want the Good ones?"

"Oooh, that'll keep those fans busy. And we should totally add ONE. MORE. NUMBER."

Ed said...

I'm just happy to see that Dr. Burton finally escaped the clutches of Dr. Jerome and got his vacation to Australia. Too bad he got killed.

Jolene said...

Hey, I think I love you, so what am I so afraid of? I'm afraid that I'm not sure of a love there is no cure for.

Good god, your recaps made me moist. You're better than that sucktard over at EW they've been dropping on us every week. I'll be back after next Wednesday night. With clean panties.