Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Pompatus of Lost: 2.17--Metaphysical Graffiti

Previously on Lost: Locke lost his kidney. Then he nearly lost Leela. Then the Mistrustables went looking for a lost balloon. Gale acted all shady. And ABC spilled the beans with the balloon reveal, clearing up any doubt we had that the Mistrustables would not be ambushed by others a full week before it was necessary.

So, I swore I remember the narrator of last week's tease saying that there would be FIVE. BIG. REVEALS! this week, but, in retrospect, I'm not sure if that was even true. Wife of DCeiver can't remember anything like that. It's probable that I just made it up. Still preferable to plagiarizing. Anyway, I'm not sure if I've got the Five Easy Pieces, but for people who likes them some big gaspy moments, the episode was full of them.

Lights up in Flashbackistan. We're going to have Locke flashes this week, and once again, this is the Locke who lived a simpler, sadder life. Duped, but in love, he's got himself a wedding ring. He and Leela are going on a picnic. And there's no reason to believe that any of the food Locke's packing up was something he killed with his bare hands while following the guidelines of a metric ton of self-empowerment babbledygook or cereal box renditions of major world philosophies. He's got hair, he's got a lady, he's got his legs--he aint got time to waste.

Leela is scanning the obituaries in whatever newspaper he reads in whatever town is hosting Flashbackistan this week. We'll soon learn that wherever it is, it's a major hub for Oceanic Air. All of the sudden, Leela perks up and asks about Anthony Cooper. I think: fuck. Who is Anthony Cooper? Anthony Ashley-Cooper was the name of all ten Earls of Shaftesbury...but before I can get all anagrammatical, we're told: he's Locke's father and he's dead. Like the Earl, he shafted Locke and now he's gonna get buried. Phew! Well, that's good he's dead. Man, I'm telling you, if we were to find out he was alive, that would be a PRETTY BIG REVEAL!

Back at the Hatch, Jack and Locke sit with Gale, and they pick up from where they left off last week. Jack wants Gale to redraw the map to his beautiful balloon. Well, Gale's done being the Losties go-to cartographer-for-torture. Locke eases into full island-happy bliss-out mode. "What's done is done," he says, smirking with the serenity of a man who's totally happy hanging out in a dank hatch on a mysterious and dangerous island because La Isla Encanta has always been totes nice to him. It makes you think, maybe if his beloved Hatch and/or Island were to turn on him in some way, it would be a PRETTY BIG REVEAL!

Jack snaps at Locke to toss Gale into the armory, where he can think long and hard about refusing to break out his Amerigo Vespucci act. Locke complies, and Gale snarks about whether he always does what Jack tells him to. It's total meowsville, and Locke aint happy about the zing, tossing him forcefully into the armory.

Meanwhile, out in the jungle, the Mistrustables search the clearing in a rainstorm. They happen upon a grave, which is one of the things that Gale said they'd find--the grave where he'd buried his wife. I guess if it turned out that the grave contained something other than Gale's wife it would be a PRETTY BIG REVEAL! Anyway, the actors playing Sayid, Charlie and Tequila then perform one of the most unbelievable and complicatedly unnecessary bits of staging in which they notice about five minutes too late that rain is no longer falling on them, look stupidly at one another as if this is the strangest fucking phenommena they'd ever encounter, slowly allow their minds to turn slowly in their heads:

"Hmmm...rain was falling on no rain...but me see rain in other's almost as if--follow me here, brain, because this is a groundbreaking conclusion I've's almost was if there were something...ABOVE US. Something that was somehow between the falling rain and our heads, and by virtue of it being both ABOVE US and yet somehow impermeable to falling water, was preventing the raindrops from keeping falling on our heads. Hmmm. Look at Sayid--doesn't it look to you like his dull, dimwitted look was giving way to a similar revelation! Okay. Brace yourself. I'm looking up. HOLY FUCKING MOTHERFUCKING MAN STANDING ON THE MOON EATING AN ICE CREAM SANDWICH! It's the balloon! My god, it seems to acting as some sort of canopy! Oh me, oh my! If only a thin layer of fabric could somehow be stretched upon a framework of horizontal spokes and kept aloft over our heads by some sort of long handle! Why, such a device could afford the individual user the same sort of protection from the rain and could be carried by hand!"

So balloon, grave. Gale's story checks out. Unless of course there's some other piece of readily available information that could be found to prove he was a liar. But that would be a PRETTY BIG REVEAL!

Back on the beach, Jack asks Hurley about Ana Lucia and is told that she took off the day before for points unknown. Jack kvetches, and Hurley repeats over and over again that he wants to be kept in the loop. "Loop," he says, adding, "Loop." Hopefully, this is not some sort of viral suggestion that you watch the FOX sitcom of the same name, because I have seen it and it's excrement. Jack has to tend to Aaron and Libby. Libby's got the need for some neosporin, and Jack laments that the exchange rates on medicine are so onerous that the only way to qualify for the necessary currency is to make a deep and vigorous tongue deposit into the well-kissed ass of Sawyer. If only there was some gentlemanly way Jack could obtain what he needed from Sawyer...but if there was that would be a PRETTY BIG--err...relatively minor plot contrivance.

Back at the Hatch, you can't help noticing how Desmond-like Locke is acting, listening to tunes and riding the stationary bike--totally lording his awesome legginess over his someday-to-be-jacked-up Flashbackistan counterpart. Of course, all the while, Locke is stewing over Gale's well-played manipulations. Suddenly, he hears strange metallic whining and microphone feedback. Locke dashes from room to room, finally arriving at a loudspeaker, out of which comes more feedback and what sounds like terrible IDM. Oh great. The Hatch is picking up some pretentious electronica blogger's bad podcast. Gale calls out, "WTF!" Ah, WTF, indeed. I think when we find out exactly W the TF is, it's going to be a PRETTY BIG REVEAL!

Meanwhile, back in Flashbackistan, Leela and Locke go to his father's funeral. Too bad they found out about his death in the obits, otherwise, I guess he could have reharvested his kidney while it was still viable. One more reason teh interwebs are going to change your life. One day, maybe we'll get to sign up for News Alerts that are died to people we know that allow us to be notified the instant they die. I think it will be used more for the purposes of schadenfreude than anything else--but you know me: I've got a long list of graves I plan to lustily piss on during my life. I'd love to hit 'em while they're fresh.

There aren't many people at the funeral. In fact, at first I think that maybe only Locke and Leela bothered to show up. But there are others--and I mean lowercase others, not capitalized Others--at least I think. First of all there are two shady looking motherfuckers who look like they've crawled directly out of some midnight movie on the FX channel. There is also a mysterious white Benz, which pulls out immediately after the funeral ends. Sounds like we'll be finding out about these people in some PRETTY BIG REVEALS!

Meanwhile, back at the Hatch, it finally becomes clear what is coming out of the loudspeakers: it's a countdown. The countdown hits zero and all of the sudden, huge blast doors begin closing throughout the Hatch and Locke is making his Holy Fuck Face. Locke, showing some real baserunning skillz, manages to slide into home just in time and get a crowbar under one of the doors before it crashes shut.

Okay, so, despite being far away from civilization, apparently an ill wind blows across La Isla Encanta, and on every single breeze, that wind whispers subliminally in the ears of the Losties, bringing news of every played-out trend and fascination to their far off shores. They've already devoured the Hatch grub in one final Atkins orgy, metrosexuality and extreme religiosity have come combined in Eko's awesome beard-nubby plucking, and any minute now, Charlie's going to start an electroclash band. On this episode, Texas Hold'em Poker gets the Lost treatment. Hurley and Kate and Sawyer are down the beach, playing for papayas, when Jack wanders over and whips out some bomb-ass zen poker knowledge like he stayed up all night both watching and fetishizing the movie Rounders. Jack's smack piques Sawyer's interest, and before long, Jack takes a place at the table.

Back at the Hatch, lights are blinky, but all seems calm. Nevertheless, Locke and Gale are freaked.

We head back to Flashbackistan, where Locke is doing a home inspection. And look who it's for! Nadia! Sayid's twue wuv! But this is not the PRETTY BIG REVEAL! No, the big reveal is that the mysterious Benz is parked on the street, and guess who's inside? HOLY SHIT, COULD IT BE? It is! Daddy Kidney Stealer! REVEAL NUMBER ONE.

Locke and DKS go to a local watering hole to talk. DKS tells his son that two shady looking motherfuckers, perhaps even the shady looking motherfuckers who were at his funeral, may or may not be looking for him because they may or may not be convinced he's actually dead and in the case of the former, are hoping to whack him personally because DKS took them for $700,000 and they are pissed. DKS gives Locke a key and directs him to a safety deposit box that contains the money. He tells him to go get it, to take $200,000 for himself, and if he's still not completely pissed off, to bring the rest to a room at a hotel near the edge of town whose Zagats rating has suffered ever since Oceanic Air decided to send their planes about ten feet over the roof.

Back at the Hatch, Locke has sussed out that he and Gale are trapped in their part of the hatch. Locke, while he may be many things, is not a self-aggranizing r&b singer who likes to pee on young girls faces, so Locke successfully resists the urge to turn his plight into a seven hundred part hip-hopera. But, he concedes that he needs Gale's help to get out of the fix they are in. Gale won't budge unless Locke gives him his word that he'll protect him from everybody. Strangely, he seems to no longer believe that Locke's promises simply won't get trumped big time by Jack--he's already made careful note of their whole permanently-enjoined-in-an-epic-pissmatch dynamic, so it's weird he's got a shred of faith in Locke's word. Nevertheless, Locke agrees, and soon prisoner and...uhm--prisonee are vying for freedom.

Meanwhile, Jack is too busy kicking Sawyer's ass at poker to bother with returning to his Hatchy duties. So fierce is their competition that Kate suggests the two ought to settle their differences with a ruler. Hee. Yeah. Wouldn't she like to know? That would potentially be a PRETTY BIG REVEAL. Unfortch, this is Lost not OZ. The joke's on her, though, because you just know that Sawyer has already squirrelled away all the rulers on the plane...along with the compasses and protractors as well. Maybe Sawyer's got--*ahem*--something to hide?

Back at the Hatch, Locke and Gale lift and lift. They stick a long metal pole under the door and lift it upwards. Sniff. I guess they've never heard of a lever. It's a simple machine that utilizes a fulcrum to maximize the force exerted on an object. Silly, silly, Locke. But, after considerable, and unnecessary effort, they get the door a little ways up. Locke calls out for Gale to stick the toolbox under the door, which he manages to do. Locke drops the door, and the toolbox more or less holds. There's a momentary pause. Then suddenly, stupidly, bafflingly, Locke is on the ground, flinging his legs under the door. And of course, the tool box being a Dharma Initiative toolbox designed by evil hippie supergeniuses, naturally and predictably crumples, letting the door fall on Locke's regenerated legs. Smooth move, Dharma Initiative Brand Laxative.

The pain in his legs sends Locke on an endorphin rush back into the wilds of Flashbackistan. He goes to the bank to check on the safety deposit box, and sure enough, it contains a heaping ton of mad green. Locke bounds for home, probably bounding and skipping, lustily singing the refrain from "Just You, Just Me" Groove Tube stizz. We see him pop through his front door, but before he can holler about the money and tie a lover's know around wonderful Leela, his attention is directed by Leela to the pair of shady looking motherfuckers standing in the kitchen, sipping some of Leela's awesome coffee.

Oozing the oily menace of the skilled beatdown dispensers, the shady looking motherfuckers sweat Locke on the whereabouts and whenabouts of his dad in their own shady, motherfuckery way. One of the two of them is apparently named Jimmy V., which I guess is a shout out to the deceased NC State coach. I don't know. Locke holds up under interrogation and was even smart (or lucky) enough to not walk in with all the moolah in the bag he was carrying. The shady looking mofeaux depart, but they've succeeded at least in being a massive buzzkill. And, portentiously, Leela asks Locke if he was lying to the shadies when he told them that his dad was most definitely dead. Locke responds by lying to her.

Back at the Palms, Jack and Sawyer are sitting down for some high-stakes, mano-a-mano, scrote dangling, POKAH. Sawyer tells Jack that he learned to play poker in Phuket. He says that as if travelling to Phuket was some big ass proof of Sawyer's intellectual worldiness, but from what we've been told, all you need in life to bring you to Phuket is some hard currency, an eye for opportunity, and a yen for underage tail. Nevertheless, this is a shout out to me because every day, at least one person comes to this blog searching for news as to whether Fitness Made Simple Freakaoidy John Basedow perished in the tsunami while vacationing in Phuket. For the record, he did not. His dye-burnt hair and extraterrestrial abs haunt the unbought national ad time to this day.

Back at the Hatch, Locke is trapped and trying to give Gale the breakdown on how to enter the numbers and reset the computer thingy. To do what needs to be done, Gale's gotta climb up a shelving unit and crawl through a duct and drop into the computer room. Gale, who seems to be taking the crazy-ass numbers stuff in stride, makes a first attempt, but falls and is knocked unconscious. And that's when the Really bad Timer begins the Four Minute Warning to the Threatdown.

Meanwhile, Jack and Sawyer bluff each other's ass off for all the amoxicillin. Jack wins the hand on a pair of nines. Not too shabby. Sawyer tries to give Jack the old, "You've won this round" business, but Jack calmly turns back to Sawyer and says, "When I want the guns, I'll get the guns." DAMN. That's some STONES! And so, the second BIG REVEAL of the episode: Jack grows his balls back.

Back at the Hatch, Gale is conscious and is making another attempt to shimmy up to the computer room. The alarm is about to shift from warning to imminent threatdown tone.

Back in Flashbackistan, Locke runs out to the Best Western, and lucky for him the shady looking MFs weren't smart enough to, you know, lie in wait and follow him to the very next place he went five minutes after giving him the business in his kitchen. He gives his father the money, refuses to take his cut, tells him he's going to propose to Leela and is no doubt building to some really cloying Dr. Phil moment when there's a knock at the door. It's not the shadies, who obviously don't want the money all that bad. Instead it's Leela, and he's pissed off that Locke lied to her. She slaps Locke and then tells his dad that he's, you know, an awful father, which one can't imagine is among his paramount concerns.

Locke follows Leela to the parking lot, trying to explain. It is sort of an idiot plot--if Locke were allowed to explain sufficiently he could have his life-changing closure moment and make it sound all hunkydory for Leela. Instead, he resorts to getting down on his knee and asking Leela to marry him. Leela refuses and leaves. Then Locke's dad leaves. Then another Oceanic plane flies directly overhead.

Back in the Hatch, the timer alarm is losing its mind. We hear the noise shift from the "hurry the fuck up with the numbers, already" sound to the dulcet tones of "well you've done it now, asshole, enjoy crazy bananas land." We hear the sound of the timer cards flipping and flopping. Locke is calling out to Gale. And then, all of the sudden it get's quiet and the lights go out, save for a blacklight that--in another PRETTY BIG REVEAL--allows Locke to see that some insane graf tag has been written on the blastwall. It looks like this:

And it has so much crap on it that all of Google's shareholders just came in their own pants.

The image is seen only for a second, and then it's gone. The door reopen.

Locke drags his bloody and possibly broken self up the stairs, calling out for Gale. In the computer room, the timer is ticking back down from 108 as if nothing happened. Gale finally reveals himself. Seeing Locke struggle, Gale helps him to his feet. Awww. Unlike Leela and Dads, Gale didn't abandon Locke. Maybe they'll get married now.

Meanwhile, Jack and Kate are in the woods. Kate wants to go to the Hatch, feigning the need to take a shower. Jack, thinking about how he doesn't want to offer up the PRETTY BIG REVEAL that he's got a prisoner, facilely offers an excuse as to why she shouldn't bother coming to the Hatch. Kate seems to brush it away, then tries another tack by saying she's glad Jack beat Sawyer in poker. Yum. Sexual tension is back, my chickadees. However, just as the milliong strong legion of Jater-loving shippers can make a million revisions to their latest fanfic offering, the pair notice a light strobing in the distance. In a PRETTY BIG REVEAL, it turns out to be a parachute, which has fallen out of the sky with a motherlode from the Dharma Initiative Duty Free.

That's when the Mistrustables show up with the impeccable timing of the plot-contrived.

Everyone heads for the Hatch, natch. And when Jack discovers Locke all fucked up and Gale running free, he makes for Gale with a quickness. Locke tries to interject by saying that Gale was helping, but what Sayid knows is enough to get Gale's diplomatic immunity pulled. Sayid tells Gale that he found the grave and the balloon, just like he said, but he adds, "I am a sad and death-obsessed man. I am practically a walking Cure album. Right now, I am totally at home reaching into graves and mingling with the stinky remains of just about anyone. What made you think I wouldn't dig up that grave? Hell, I couldn't wait to dig up that grave." And in it, he found...not a wife, but some dude--as it turns out--in a PRETTY BIG REVEAL, the real Henry Gale!

Ruh-roh. Holy shit! Gale is totally in for it now. They'll be lining up to torture him for information. This is going to change everything. It's certainly going to improve Ana Lucia's standing. And Charlie's gonna be jealous he missed out on the torture, seeing as he perfected his own technique playing for Driveshaft. And, come to think of it, it also means--


Sigh. You all are still thinking about the effing blacklight map, aren't you?


Red Line said...

Awesome review, as usual.
One thing, didn't Jack learn to play poker in Phuket? Then when he started to explain where it was, Sawyer played the "you thought I'd be to simple to know" card.

Kathryn Is So Over said...

I love that you call her Leela. A+ recap.

Anonymous said...

Are you trying out for Television Without Pity? I hear they pay at least.