Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Pompatus of Lost: 2.08--I Shot a Man In Echo Park Just To Watch and See if the Closure Could Resolve My Deep Seated Need to Control Things.

Previously on Lost: Ana Lucia orders a tequila and tonic, and the fact that they led with that scene means that was a total shout out to me. The Desert Island Dicks pack up and move out of their decrepit bunker for a new life in neighboring Jackistan, but will Sawyer survive the trip without the syrupy balm of Kate's sexiness? Meanwhile, despite receiving pretty clear instructions from Wet Walt to sit there and shut her piehole, Shannon runs off into the woods yelling and ends up getting shot by Ana Lucia. Shannon dies and Sayid looks like he's about to drop all over her, Sadr City stizz.

We open in Flashbackistan. Ana Lucia is sharing an intimate moment with the one she loves the most--her gun. She tickles the gun's trigger and hot, squealing death penetrates the flimsy material of the paper targets she aims for, and she always appears to give head. If only Ana Lucia and The Gun could be together...but this is a strange, strangled world that just doesn't understand the love one woman can have for her gun. Nobody understands what they have together, and everybody seems to want Ana and The Gun to be apart. Don't they realize they were meant to be?

Ana is trying to at least provide an illusion of normalcy, she's working out her issues with what looks like a therapist. He asks her about her noisy neighbors, and she tells him that there's no more screaming baby. They talk about Danny, who sounds like an ex-boyfriend she had between guns. She just wants to hold a gun again, she says--after all, then she can take care of Danny and screaming babies on her own terms. Bottom line, she wants to work again, and so her therapist stands up, and if you haven't already figured it out, you learn she's a cop. Holy Ramparts Division.

Back in the real world, Sayid is staring at Ana Lucia with his death stare. He's had to wait a long time to react to the sight of his beloved Shannon getting shot in the gut, but his anger hasn't dampened in spite of the special Tailies episode he had to wait through to get to this moment. In fact, you could argue that waiting through the Tailes ep only fed his anger. Finally, Sayid goes off, but Eko (and yes, we'll start spelling his name correctly now) intercedes and defends Ana Lucia. They fight, and Ana Lucia manages to knock Sayid out. Ana looks completely gun crazy, and she orders the group to tie Sayid up. Everyone, including what's left of her Tailie contingent, is realizing that she's totally effing bananas as we wheels around, pointing the gun every which way, yelling about how she knows what she's doing.

We go back to Flashbackistan. Ana is at work for the po-po, giving her the access to firearms and defeminizing clothing that she's always needed to feel whole. Ana's immediate superior is also her mother--and I'm sure that doesn't generate any debilitating issues at all. Ana's mom is played by Rachel Ticotin with deliberate calmness and care so as to not leave the impression that all Hispanics are hot-headed, gun-toting bags of crazy emotion. Ana's mom wants her to handle some desk assignments as she gets back into the flow of street crime, both causing and solving it, but Ana aint playin' no who's the boss nonsense, and tells mommy that's she'll transfer to another unit that's more willing to give her a gun and a car, correctly surmising that there are plenty of other places in the L.A. Police Department that will happily let her stomp on some ass. Her mom relents, and Ana leaves to go eat some cake.

Back at the beach, everyone is acting perfectly content and at ease. These are the salad days in Jackistan--where men and women launder together, golf is played, children are raised and cursed numbers entered into a computer every 108 minutes. Like can switch from mass panic and concern for the marauding Others to breezy island happiness at a moments notice. And as long as no one murders Shannon or kidnaps Walt or bring psychotic Tailie people back to the beach, Jackistan will remain an idyllic island heaven forever. Forever.

Out in the woods somewhere. Sayid is tied up. The rest of the group look nervously around as Ana Lucia continues her mini reign of terror. Finally, Eko decides to get Sawyer to Jackistan so he c an get some help. Ana Lucia is pissed to see Eko leave and jeers that he's foolish to help Sawyer out. Joke's on her: now that Sawyer's been shown to be not the one whose dying, now is the best time to get in some character bonding as an investment in future screentime. Eko tells Ana that he's doing it for himself.

Flashbackistan. Ana is out on patrol. She's lucky enough to have as a partner one of the most experiences "That Guy" actors in Hollywood--doubly so considering that this That Guy almost always plays a cop. That means Ana will have top flight scene partnering from someone who's not out looking to prove he belongs playing leads. That Guy seems glad to have Ana back as a partner, and he offers to go and kick Danny's ass. Oh...That Guy...Danny is probably either already dead or lamming it like his life depends on it, which, with Ana Lucia as an ex, is almost certainly the case.

Ana Lucia mentions that they are in Westwood. After all, it's her first day back...shouldn't she be in Watts or something waist-deep in the shit, skulls cracking and cranial fluid spattering hither and yon at each descending swing of her nightstick? That Guy interjects that he didn't want to take on any real tough crime--but to his chagrin, a call comes out over the wires about a domestic disturbance three blocks away. Ana Lucia, though she and That Guy were not the officers requested at the scene, respond anyway.

The disturbance is a garden variety Southern California dirtbag yell fest, with two dipshit fighting over ownership of a television as one clings to a baby. Ana Lucia and That Guy cautiously approach, and That Guy officer friendlies some opening "What seems to be the matter here's." But it's too much for Ana Lucia: he's yelly, she's yelly, the TV's way too big, and the baby is gurgle-screaming like a bullfrog stuffed into a malfunctioning car alarm. Ana freaks out and pulls her gun and starts ordering people to drop this and do that. That Guy is totally freaking, because bitch be crazier than Martin Lawrence before Big Momma's House gave him the perspective he needed in life to avoid pulling out a gun every time he encountered seven or eight seconds of adversity.

Back in the woods, Ana is frenching the gun, rubbing it's metallic body across her skin. "Teacher...mother...secret lover..." she quietly coos to the gun. The Tailies are looking on at all this with a combination of bemusement and terror. None, however, look at all surprised that this is happening. Because at some point, the writers basically had to include a moment where Michael or Jin seemed useful for something, Michael gets up to give Sayid some water. Ana, naturally takes umbrage, but Mike refuses to back down. I guess this episode is all about slowly and purposefully reclaiming your balls from Ana Lucia. As Mike leans into Sayid's face, he has the chance to take a break and smoke a little Exposition--so he tells Sayid what's been going on. Sayid asks about Walt's whereabouts, and Mike tells him that "they" took him. Sayid freaks because he suspects he's caught Wet Walt Seeing Disease from Shannon.

Eko, bearing Sawyer, encounters Jack and Kate awkwardly failing to bone one another for the 300th time. They take Eko and Sawyer to the Hatch, where, as he sits there watching the countdown, Locke pauses over a crossword puzzle examining the clue that everyone will be Googling about this next week: "Enkidu's Friend." Answer: Gilgamesh. This is a total shout out to Randy Baker of Rorschach Theatre, by the way, who just won a grant that he'll use to finish his staged adaptation of Gilgamesh. So hot. Kate and Jack and Sawyer and Eko crash the hatch, headed for the shower. Locke, curious, investigates, but Jack is all: "Dude, go push the button."

Eko ponders the Dharma insignia as, from the other room, you hear the alarm beeps stop and the clock reset to 108. Locke enters to meet Eko, touching off what could end up being a vastly weird relationship.

Meanwhile, even as our beloved castaways are flying into action, healing Sawyer, pushing buttons, and experiencing the awesome sound of Charlie on guitar, the Tailies are still waiting around, having been conditioned to keep their thumbs up their ass until Ana Lucia says it's okay to sniff. Finally, Bernard complains that they aren't doing anything--complaining about not doing anything is at least ADVANCED not doing anything. Ana insists she has a plan, but Sayid chides her "All she has is a gun and her guilt." Ana summons Michael and starts in on a laundry list of things she wants from Jackistan. Libby correctly susses out that she means to gear up and head out into the jungle on her own. Wife of DCeiver is all: "Yes! Let the bitch go." Libby tells her she'll never survive alone. Ana melodramatizes, "I am already alone."

Flashbackistan. Ana Lucia and That Guy are back at the po-po house, and That Guy's still freaking out about Ana "drawing down" on the garden variety domestic fighters. It didn't help anyone's mellow. Just then, Ana gets the news about the guy who shot her in Echo Park--they've picked up a Jason McCormick and he's confessed to the crime. They just need Ana to come ID him. Ana looks through the one-way glass and tells her mom that she doesn't recognize the man because of all the anvils in the room. Mom's like: what are you talking about? Ana replies that with all the falling anvils in the room, it was hard to concentrate and make the identification. Ana's mom, getting frustrated, pleads, "But he confessed." "What did you say, Mom?" Ana shouts, "I can't hear you above all the loud loud anvils!"

Meanwhile, back at the Hatch, Locke and Eko continue to get to know one another. Locke asks what's been going on. Eko seems confused, and inquires as to whether Locke got to see the flashback episode. Locke's all: No, dude. I drew hatch duty during last week's Lost." Meanwhile, Jack and Kate are desperately trying to get Sawyer to swallow a much needed antibiotic. Jack's not having any luck, but Kate grabs the pill, and starts rubbing Sawyer's face, pulling him into an embrace of sorts, whilw sweetly whispering things in his ear. And, as you might infer, modern medical practice is no match for the sexiness. Sawyer swallows the pill. Shit, if Kate put her tongue in my ear I'd be willing to eat a shaved aluminum and live fire ant soft taco.

Back in the woods, Bernard and Libby are finally reaching the breaking point they should have reached a month ago. They want to leave. Libby confesses that she just thinks Ana is a poor judge of character--which is a pretty stupid thing to say seeing that Libby is a clinical psychologist who's business is to suss out character and she willingly went along with being led by an incompetent, violence-prone, crazy woman for over a month--this even after she decided the best thing to do in response to the Others' first attack was to make weapons but not stand guard. Ana finally sends them all away toward Jackistan, leaving herself alone with Sayid. I guess one upside to Ana Lucia is that as long as she's on Lost, there will always be a little bit of arrested development on TV.

Here is where a recording device error left a gap of indeterminate length in my Lost tape, truncating the episode and leaving me momentarily adrift. When it finally does return me to the narrative, Michael is down in the hatch and Eko is explaining that he can take Jack to see Ana Lucia. Deep in the recesses of Jack's mind, you can see him working over his memory banks until he arrives at the entry: "Cortez, Ana Lucia: flirty bitch who ordered that ghastly drink at the airport bar; am supposed to join her onboard for a drink...maybe plaqn to comfort a nice African-American woman instead." Jack agrees to go, after Eko cautions that they should not bring along any more guns, since Ana will just try to rub her cooter on them.

Coincidentally, back in the woods, Ana has launched into some heavy duty foreplay with her gun. Rightly aghast at the sight of a woman about to perform oral-anal on a firearm, Sayid tries to steer the mood to a more pleasant place: his years as a torturer for hire in the Iraqi Republican Guard. He's done a lot of bad things, he says, and wonders if maybe she's meant to kill him. Ana replies that she used to be a cop. She went out on assignment, chased some bad dudes into a house. She went around back and had a man in her sights. The guy told her she was making a mistake, that he was a student, letting him reach for his ID. Turns out the guy was doing his doctorate at Anvil State University, grabbed his own piece and plugged Ana four times.

So what happened to the guy, Sayid asks. Umm...duh. Ana Lucia totally stalks the guy she refused to ID, who the police stupidly allowed back on the streets despite having the confession of a guy who attempted to murder a cop--with our without Ana's ID, that seems to me to be more than enough to place him on remand, but whatever, JJ Plot Device Abrams. She stalks him and follows him out of a bar and tells him she was pregnant (thus explaining the baby issues) and basically empties her clip into his body. Her mom's going to be so disappointed, but don't fret--many years into the future, Ana Lucia's mom will provide Douglas Quaid with instrumental assistance as he tries to find out who he really is and what is actually happening on Mars in Paul Verhoeven's Total Recall.

Ana Lucia unties Sayid, drops her gun and her knife and basically gives him permission to kill her. Sayid says he won't because, after all, they're both "already dead." Looks like the Isla de Encanta just spawned its first Elliot Smith Fan Club, everyone.

And with that, producers give the order, "Deploy the montage!" We see Kate tending to Sawyer, to the delight of Skaters everywhere. Vincent tends to Michael, pleasing Rick Santorum. Charlie stops playing bad Oasis covers long enough to notice the returning Jin, along with Bernard and Libby. The castaways teem all over the returned Jin. Rose and Bernard see each other, and their reunion is super happy. Hey, Rose was right! Rock on, God! And Sun and Jin are back together. "Reuniting the sexiest couple on television," reminds Wife of DCeiver.

In fact, the only people not making out right now are Jack and Eko, who come upon the even more morose Sayid and Ana Lucia. In the final shot, Jack and Ana stand apart at extreme opposite edges of the frame, staring back at one another. You know, if I didn't know better, I'd say that the camera is trying to tell us something symbolic.

NEXT WEEK: You know it's Christmas season if JJ Abrams is wrapping me up a generous present of Kate, Kate, KATE! More Kate than you can shake your stick at as we finally, maybe, sorta, almost probably find out what it was that she done did.


jordan said...

my anger at ana-lucia cortez grows...she is second to causing blinding rage, only to my umbrella getting turned inside out by gusts of wind...

also, i think this was perhaps the lamest backstory ever, (even lamer than shannon's sob story...?), what with the baby and the raging lunatic that is ana-lucia cortez, and the whole, lets make this obvious shoe drop more dramatic by having her say it in fucking spanish!

at least the rest of the dicks got their balls back...not to mention the meeting of the gabby mcgabberton twins...

Jolene said...

You said "yelly."

Your copious amounts of attention to Ana Lucifer and her gun are righteous.

Write on, writer. Right on.

Ed said...

Good God, this episode had almost enough Ana Lucia for me to stop watching. It's getting uncomfortable, her character. She's such a huffing bitch ... good GOD will someone just slap the shit out of her?

DCepticon said...

I applied for the job of slapping Ana Lucia this season.

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