Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Pompatus of Lost: 3.02--The Glass Mendacity

Previouslies: Sayid assumes responsibility for all Walt-rescue-related badassey. Jack ends up in a shark tank, wondering where Sawyer and Kate are.

We begin in Flashbackistan and find Sun as a sweet bird of youth:

SUN: Yes, I have a bun in the oven.Yes, I have tricks up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of those assholes on Grey's Anatomy, monologuing us to death and fighting with each other on the set about who's prettier and who has better actor training. To begin with, I can go to Flashbackistan, to a quaint period where I was just a little girl in Korea, totally pinning the wreck of a glass ballerina on our maid. I don't feel bad about it either. Fuck the maid.

In Korea, there was this crazy bad codependent relationship I had gotten into and an affair I was having with this bald guy on top of that. Here on La Isla Encanta, there are only Others, and black smoke stompy things, and this crazy plan to rescue Walt.

But this is Flashbackistan, and as it is a flashback, it is set in Korea , and filled with subtitles. And midway through the show, it maybe becomes Jin's flashback, not mine--for no good reason. I can't figure it out. What the fuck, writers? Consistency is all I seek. But that's another story.

I am the narrator of some parts of Flashbackistan. The other characters are my husband, Jin, my father, Mr. Paik, and a gentleman caller who will eventually get the snot beat out of him but good.

The writers of this show have a poet's weakness for metaphor, hence the slow motion descent of the doomed ballerina, the fragile piano fingerings, and my eventual decision to blame the maid for the broken tzotchke. It's all supposed to mean something. But fuck me if I can figure it out.

You'd think the rest of the show would explain it. If so, you've obviously not been watching this show.

We return from Flashabackistan to see Sun, below deck on the Elizabeth washing her face after having a bout with morning sickness. I guess we're going to have to get used to daily visitations to these matters because with the way time moves on this show, Sun's birth will be taking place around Season Nine, and that season will open with a three-episode recap of Sun's bun journey through the birth canal and flashbacks of it as a zygote. We'll all still like Sun's fertilized egg more than Ana Lucia, so this is not without upside.

Above deck, Sayid is doing a little bit of spot mapping. Jin is concerned for Sun and wants to turn around and go home. But Sayid is unwilling to leave Jack behind--he wants to go north and set another fire--just to show off that the Losties have mastered a few rudiments of basic civilization. Jin's all, "Yeah, well, I'm the one who knows how to sail." But Sun intercedes and sides with Sayid telling him that she knows how to pilot the boat as well.

Meanwhile, in the Sharktank, Jack receives another bowl of soup from Juliet. Jack doesn't have much to say about this, and Juliet leaves. She runs into Ben, who snides, "You never made soup for me." It's all a reminder of the colorful past these two have as, I suppose, former squeezes who differed radically on whether Stephen King should be included in their book club. Just then, another woman, who'd clearly Ben's new butchier squeeze, interrupts. She's Connie, the convincing contrary consigliere to Ben and romantic foil for Juliet.

Connie informs Ben that "the Iraqi" found their fake village, and that he's got a sailboat. Ben makes WTF-faces over the sailboat. "How'd they get a sailboat?" he asks. Oh, you haven't seen the spread over at Lostie Beach. They've got golf courses and shit. Given enough time, they'll be giving out sailboats as strings-free rewards for participating in Rape Caves Timeshares presentations. Ben wants Connie to put together a team--but, shit, man--this is Connie we're talking about! She's already put together a team. A crack team of Iraqi-evading sailboat takers, don't you worry. No one needs to tell Connie that "a team" needs to be put together. "I want that boat," Ben says.

Back at the Other's panda enclosure, Sawyer's introduction to Kate is proceeding well. He's stopped flinging poop at her and is instead exuding pheromones at a high rate. Soon, the Others will mate them and produce little Skater babies that will be the size of a stick of butter. But first things first, and that is another early morning breakfast of fish biscuits.

This glorious repast is soon interrupted by the arrival of Others, armed and carrying tools. These are the Others who didn't draw the plum assignment of being on Connie's awesome team. They take Sawyer and Kate from their cages and lead them into the jungle. Along the way, they stop to pick up some provisions. Sawyer notices that the guy who seems to be in charge has some sort of lady friend--a spouse or a girlfriend--and so he points the only gun he has in his possession--his powerful cock--at them. Lady friend seems to notice Sawyer's Danger Hair infused stare, and, seeing this, the guy wheels on Sawyer before he can totally plant the seeds of future coital conquest.

Back on the boat, Jin continues to have grave misgivings and small craft warnings, but Sun charms him with a little dose of sweetness. Of course, never does a tender moment come with these two that doesn't hurl them into the regretful world of Flashbackistan. We arrive there to find Sun, naked and laying in bed with her Gentleman Caller, Jae. Don't know if this is post-coitus or pre-coitus, but Jae definitely has a mind to re-coitus. Sun offers up her best, "We can't. We mustn't." Their house was not meant to stand! But Jae shushes her--Paik's kid don't cry!--and tells her he doesn't want to share with Jin anymore. She knows English, so she can come to America and only be harassed by Maryland State Comptroller William Donald Schaeffer for her fine, fine ass. Jae offers Sun a pearl necklace.

No. Not that kind.

Just then there comes a stern knocking at the door from someone who failed to note how the hotel room was a-rocking. Jae answers it, and, in what figures to be a big detriment to his prospects of remaining alive, in walks Mr. Paik. Jae collapses in apologias as Paik enters and orders Sun to get dressed. His eyes scream "Deception! Deception!" Paik clearly is shamed by Sun. Here he thought that she was off at Rubicam's Business College while all this while she's been getting schtupped by Baldy McEnglishspeak. It'll be a long while before Paik can show his face at the Daughters of the Korean War.

Back at Camp Others, Sawyer and Kate learn that the law, though fought, has won, and, as a result, they shall break rocks in the hot sun. The guy whose lady Sawyer was macking on let's him know that he is The Shocker, and if they step out of line, he'll give 'em two in the toot, one in the poot. Just to show he's serious, he rewards Kate's snark by giving Sawyer the first Shock of the day. Dig The Shocker's crazy-mixed-up style of justice and punishment! He's angry! He's unpredictable! He's the Shocker!

Meanwhile, back in Flashbackistan:

Sun: After the fiasco at the hotel room, the idea of killing my gentleman caller to the deadeth degree imaginable began to play a more and more important part of my father's calculations. It became an obsession, like an archetype of the universal unconscious or some cultural referent Lindehof and Cuse drop into the scripts just to make the fans all fuck off to Google it like some predictable Charm City monkeyboy.

Father was a man of action as well as a man of words. Actually...he was more a man of forcing other people to do his dirty work, as well as a man of subtitles...many many subtitles. But I digress. He began to take logical steps in the direction of eradicating his shame.

I have no idea why this is in MY FLASHBACK, but, my Dad called Jin into his office one day. He showed him a picture of my gentleman caller, and told him that he had been stealing and that Jin needed to put an end to it. As in "This is THE end, my balding friend, the end." Jin refuses and tells my father that he'll quit. You can hardly blame him...Christ, Mark Foley's a better boss than my dad. But my dad countered Jin's refusal by calling Jin his "son" for the first time and that as his son, his shame was Jin's shame. That's us Asians and our mythic fucking shame spirals. It's all a big cliche. Believe me, we don't all act as if we were the last fucking samurai.

Back on the Elizabeth, Sayid spots the dock from the end of last season, and makes the decision to moor the boat there and build a fire. It will turn out to be a collossally stupid decision, but, then, I've been saying that all along about Sayid's crazy, "I'll let you guys walk through the jungle with a traitor whilst I cruise around the island on this totally sweet boat. We'll meet up, kill the Others, and then enjoy some Pirate's Bay rum!" Whatevs.

Elsewhere, Sawyer and Kate continue to do whatever this work is they've been forced to do. It's not clear if all the rock pickin' and hole diggin' has anything to do with anything other than maybe making Kate and Sawyer feel demeaned and enslaved. And I know that the Others continually insist that they are the "Good Guys"--but really, I just think they're dicks. So hoping Sawyer goes Spartacus on their asses.

But what Sawyer is doing is staring at Kate's ass. Don't do it, Sawyer! Don't be lured by the siren's call of Kate's shapely crack! Concentrate on the matter at hand. Sawyer's long lingering stare gets the unwanted attention of The Shocker, who tosses Sawyer some mad glare and tells him to get back to work.

Just then, Kate's attention is taken by Alex Rousseau, who's suddenly appeared and seems to want to talk to Kate. Alex asks after Karl--the young kid that used to occupy Kate's cage and who executed the most perfunctory of escape attempts in the last episode. Kate doesn't know anything about Karl--she was off eating the Worst Continental Breakfast Ever with Ben when all that was happening. Alex remarks that the dress Kate is wearing used to belong to her, a fact that fills Kate with no small amount of distaste. After all, it's bad enough being stuck wearing an off-the-rack Laura Ashley knockoff from twelve seasons ago--you have to go and learn that it's a hand-me-down from the daughter of some crazy French woman.

Back at the dock, Sayid's behavior--being something cloudy, something clear--finally inspires Sun to call him out, and Sayid finally admits that he's changed the game plan. He's certain that Jack and the gang have been captured--at least as certain as anyone could be knowing that Jack and the gang getting captured was the most likely outcome of one's crazy plan. What he wants to do know is set a trap for the Others, and he has it mapped out in exacting detail. He will capture two of the Others and kill the rest of them. Then he will play each of the two off against the other in a battle of Who Wants To Survive Sayid's Loose Ass Interpretations of the Geneva Conventions. Given the fact that it's been notably hard to dispatch an Other thus far, not to mention that the Losties have been basically been straight up pwned by the Others at every step, it's a bold plan, that, let's face it, on one level, is going to rely on the Others LETTING IT HAPPEN.

We return from another episode of televised mercantilism to find ourselves in Flashbackistan. Jin comes home, having had The Grudge 3 laid on him by Sun's father. He's quiet and surly, and it doesn't take long for it to come out that he has to go "deliver a message." Sun doesn't want him to go. She wants him to run away to America, start a new life, and that he doesn't need the job her father gave him.

But does she think Jin's crazy about the job? Does she think he's in love with being her dad's pain delivery boy? That celotex interior? With fluorescent tubes? Why sometimes he'd rather someone pick up a crowbar and batter out his brains than to have to go out at night...with a, uhm, batter out someone else's brains. Everytime Sun says "We can start a new life, we can start a new life," it makes him say to himself, "Wow! How lucky dead people are!" Oh, and that reminds him, it's time for the long goodbye...gotta go beat some bald guy until his inside parts are mostly on the outside.

Back at Ambush Beach, Jin is starting to piece it all together. He can just tell by the way Sayid is building the fire that's something's up. He goes on a subtitle free binge of calling Sayid and Sun out. Sun translates for the home audience that Jin knows English better than he lets on. Sun is all arch about it, but, shit, Sun--let's not start loading the Trebuchet of Resentment Rocks inside your very thin glass house, okay? Or has your Flashback, thus far, taught you nothing?

Jin insists that he participate in the coming ambush and convinces Sayid to order Sun back to the boat. Sayid pauses to remind her that there is a gun tucked away inside a tarpaulin on board. Why Sayid did that is anyone's guess--I suppose during his planning of this absurd plot he remembered: "I'd better take one of these guns and just stow it inside a random tarpulin in the kitchen. Some future plot device may require it." Still, it's great to see an Iraqi cop to concealing a weapon--since Hans Motherfuckin' Blix isn't around. Of course, that hidden gun represents the best WMD find to date where Iraq is concerned.

Back at the Others Correctional Facility, kate and Sawyer are still participating in their Others-mandated auto da fe when Juliet gets Sawyer's attention, presumably because she has a working vagina. She looks back, and tosses him a canteen full of water. Sawyer takes the canteen and dumps out the contents in full bad-ass mode. Sawyer 1, Refreshment 0!

If the next thing you heard was the distant sound of a million Skaters all loudly saying "SQUEEEEEE!!" together, that's because Sawyer, in a fit of glorious, rebellious pique, strides up to Kate for an abrupt and luxurious demonstration of the title of Cole Porter's most famous musical. He's come to wive it lustily in Kate's throat, in other words. But The Shocker and his gang of angry Others are on that shit before anyone can admonish, "Why can't you behave?" Sawyer starts scrapping, and despite getting poled in the back of the head and receiving a mild shock, manages to grab a gun. For a second, things are coming up Spartacus, but then Juliet gets his attention, using his real name, James. He turns and Juliet's got a gun pointed at Kate, and Sawyer, always true to Kate in his own fashion, drops the gun. The Shocker sets his shocker on "He Hate Me", and Sawyer is down and convulsing.

Time passes and it's now night on Ambush Beach. Sayid and Jin have taken up cover in the jungle, executing their plan that is twenty-seven wagons fulla stupid. Why they think they should stand and wait there is anyone's guess. Sun waits on the boat, and right about now, you wonder why it is that Sayid, a supposed military expert, and Jin, who wants very badly for Sun to be kept out of harm's way, never suggested that maybe Sun, who can sail, should take the boat and anchor it offshore, far away from the sneaky Others--as opposed to leaving it right on their dock with a big sign that says "Why Not Just Walk Right Up To This Motherfuckin' Boat and Board It?" Sure enough, as Sun prepares to make tea, the Others, like cats on a cool sailboat's roof, are stealthing their way on board.

Back in Flashbackistan, Jin sits in his car, waiting for the moment to enter the hotel and meet up with Jae. "Agh," he thinks, "I'm a hired assassin. I carry a tommy-gun in my briefcase. I run a string of cathouses in Daegu. They call me Killer--Killer Kwon. I'm leading a double life--honest employee by day, by night a dynamic czar of every once in a while havin' to choke a bitch so my boss doesn't ruin my marriage. Why and how is this a part of Sun's flashback?!"

Jin goes in the hotel and confronts Jae, and then basically works him over pretty damned good. It's not long before Jae has been forcibly juxtaposed with pieces of furniture, thrown through anything in the room that a man can be thrown through and is bleeding and crying. "Blue roses!" he cries, adding, "I didn?t even know you were Shakespeare's sister! Didn't we have a class in something together? I never heard any clumping, I SWEAR I NEVER HEARD ANY CLUMPING PLEASE DON'T BE KILLING ME. WAAAA-AAAH."

And, once again, Jin can't bring himself to kill the object of his father-in-law's rage. He tells Jae that he needs to leave the country and never come back, start a new life and stay the fuck away. Jae agrees to this, and Jin goes back to his car. And then, a few minutes later, Jae also decides to go back to Jin's car, only Jae took A Streetcar Named Expire--straight down, from a great height, all among the windscreen, clutching the pearl necklace. No. Not that kind.

Meanwhile on Ambush Beach, Sayid and Jin's plan to stand in one random part of the jungle and resolutely stare half-assedly into space isn't succeeding. The clue train doesn't stop there anymore. The Elizabeth is now swarming with Others, who've only been to happy to walk right up the welcome mat onto the boat. Sun, finally spooked by the obviously menacing creaking going on, fetches the gun from the Tarpaulin of Plot Contrivance and hides. Soon, we see Connie. Sun emerges, gun pointed at Connie and tells her she wants off the boat. Connie, constant in her contrariness, says that ain't gonna happen.

Sun points out the gun, but Connie, contemplating in a contrasting context, conversates that she knows Sun isn't a killer, and that she won't shoot her. So, Sun shoots her. Good. Jesus, Connie: pompous much? Sun, realizing that the boat is going to depart from the dock, shimmies up to the deck and leaps overboard, even as the dude who used to look like that guy from that Kansas album fires off a few poorly aimed rounds.

Jin and Sayid, by now, have come running, but they are too late to stop the Others from taking the boat. As Kyle Leafblower points out, we can only imagine how well it's going to go over when they return to Lostie beach to confess that they sailed away as a part of a crazy plan to rescue Walt, only to return without Walt, without Jack, without Kate, without Sawyer, and, OH YEAH, without the, uhm...BOAT. The one that could have been pointed in the direction of OFF THE FUCKING ISLAND? Yeah. That'll be a fine conversation.

Jin leaps in the water, and begins yelling in untranslated Korean. We imagine he is saying: "I am in the water. I am swimming. I would fain ask the boat to stop, as my spouse is currently on board, and I do prefer spending time with her, a need that cannot be met if she is transported away from my person." He yells this several times. God, Jin is just so erudite, you know? Finally, Sun calls out: "Jin. I am in the water. Your fears of my being on the boat, while sensibly grounded, are, through circumstance, misplaced. And by the way I had an affair with this bald guy back in Korea...What? Did you fail to catch that last part? I was trying to relate to you...oh dear, I forgot what I was saying."

In Flashbackistan, Sun attends Jae's funeral, where she is confronted by her father. He tells her that she shouldn't be there. She asks her father if he will ever tell Jin about her indiscretion. He replies that it isn't his place to tell him, just manipulate him into killing her lover. Good thing Sun doesn't connect the Jae shaped dent in Jin's car with the car sized bruise on Jae's body, huh? Was it just a trick of memory, or the memory of some trick? Ahhh, blow out your candles, Sun. Blow out your candles.

Right about this time, Sawyer and Kate are being returned to their lodgings at the Others Correctional Facility. It's been a hard day for them both, but it was nevertheless endlessly satisfying watching Sawyer bloodying The Shocker's nose.

Kate is all WTF-cakes about the Kiss. Sawyer starts off flirty, but then remembers his crippling intimacy problems and tries to play it off like he was using it as a way of provoking the Others so he could size them up as far as what sort of fighters they were. What Sawyer says sounds like all sorts of unfounded conclusions, but I guess we're to accept that he is some sort of Stephen Hawking of fisticuffs. Two things not lost on Sawyer: Juliet is a stone killer and Kate tastes like strawberries. I KNEW IT! Kate smirks that Sawyer tastes like fish biscuit. Which is, I guess, a subtle way of letting the ladies know that Sawyer's the type of guy who will, unlike Paul Bremer, not run away from the, uhm...Green Zone. Sawyer says the next step is to wait for the Others to make a mistake, but what he doesn't know, is that he's being watched and listened to by Ben at that very moment.

Ben leaves his media room to have a conversation with Jack. We get the whole cliched, "Why, a week ago, we were in the opposite positions" conversation. Yes, Ben, we get it, the fly is became the spider. Whoopdeedoo. Nevertheless, Ben wants to lose all of the eccentricities of a Henry Gale and deal straight with Jack, so he introduces himself as Benjamin Linus. He tells Jack that he's lived on the island all his life and that no one is trapped on the island--that the Others have free and open contact with the outside world.

Jack, is, of course, doubtful. So Ben runs down the calendar, telling him that it's November 29, 2004. The United States re-elected George Bush, Christopher Reeve was dead, the DCeiver was enjoying being DCist's least important contributor, the kids in Brooklyn had finally all come to realize that Fischerspooner sort of sucked ass, and the Boston Red Sox had won the World Series. He spares Jack the news that Jimmy Fallon was in the process of making a shitty, Red Sox oriented movie adaptation of an otherwise awesome Nick Hornby book, so he's not a complete monster.

Jack of course, laughs at Ben, saying that he should have picked any other major league team than the Red Sox if he wanted to sound plausible. But Ben's got the whole thing on videotape, and Jack watches, stunned, as Boston wins the World Series. I can't wait until next year, when Jack sees the fucking White Sox win. That's going to blow his goddamned MIND. And, maybe, he'll be able to enjoy it from the comforts of his broken home, because Ben tells Jack that if he cooperates, he'll get to go home. Ben will take him home. In his beautiful balloon. And buy him a puppy.

Jack is obviously mulling these prospects as the lights go down. Dude. Did he not hear who we elected President?

Next week: We get a stern letter from Tennesee Williams' estate. Also, "Claire is shocked to find Nikki and Paulo in Jack's tent!" Also, we find out: Who the fuck are Nikki and Paulo? La Isla Encanta lands two more SAG contracts.


Paulo said...

Well, I'm Paulo. No idea who Nikki is, but I'll let you know when she turns up.

(Best Pompatus so far. 9.5!)

Nate said...

the guy who seems to be in charge has some sort of lady friend--a spouse or a girlfriend

I'm pretty much positive that the "spouse or a girlfriend" was Connie, heading off with her team. Although Connie gave off a bit of a jealousy vibe when she walked in on Ben and Juliet, I don't think she's actually "involved" with either of them. Possibly she's just surprised to see them getting along?