Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Fuck You, Phil!" and Other Fun Things I Enjoyed While Re-Watching "LOST" Season 5

I finally managed to get my best friend caught up with "LOST." It's taken three years, and not once have we been able to have a relevant conversation about the show since I've always been well ahead of him in my viewing. It's felt like we've been trapped in different years or something.

So, we decided to have a "LOST" weekend and blaze through season five. Back-to-back, this is -- at least in my opinion -- the best season of the series. The pace is blistering, the writing crisp and clever, and the performances top-notch. I'm still seething at how "LOST" managed to avoid a nomination for Best Television Show - Drama at this year's Golden Globes (yet, "House," after jumping the shark long ago still manages to garner award nominations for it's malady-of-the-week format).

Here's a list of things I noticed, enjoyed, and thought about while re-watching season five.

1. "Fuck you, Phil!" I started calling this out when Phil made his first appearance in "LaFleur." Jason looked at me in disbelief, and said, "What's that all about? We just saw the guy." My response was simple: "You'll be saying it too when you see what that motherfucker does." Suffice to say, after a couple episodes, Jason was doing just that. If I was a drinker, I think "Fuck you, Phil," would become quite a good drinking game -- everytime he appears on the screen, the person(s) who forget to say it have to down a shot.

2. "Why do I have to keep pausing all the time?" Jason loves the show, but he's not like most of us "LOST" geeks. He doesn't keep an encyclopedic knowledge of the show in his head, read the multitude of blogs, and study physics and Egyptology in his spare time (what's wrong with him?). So, I had to stop fairly often in the early parts of the season to bring him up to speed and explain tons of shit. In "The Little Prince," we see Claire's mom, and I had to remind him who she was. Same for Cassidy later, and so on. Oddly enough, it was like recording a commentary track, and became really fun.

3. "Dharma Lady." What a funny song. I downloaded it on iTunes when it was free, but hearing it play again over the menu on one of the DVDs was awesome. Also, I think when we first heard the song in the series, one of the Dharma dudes was dancing with his woman down in the security hub. Great moment, until Phil came in to cock-block his friend. That's right..."Fuck you, Phil!"

4. New Otherton, ruined. Sometimes this show is so rich with information that I don't pick-up on simple things. For example, when Sun and Frank take the outrigger to the main island and meet up with Christian, New Otherton has been replaced by the ramshackle Dharma barracks. Signs are broken, windows shattered, etc. It's as if the Others never even moved in. Suddenly, it occurred to me that the timeline Sun, Frank, Ben, et. al inhabit in 2007 is post-Incident/Jughead blast. Whatever took place at the Swan station site had already impacted the rest of the Island. So, where did Richard take his people then? NotLocke finds them on the beach, but I want to know what happened to them over the course of those 30 years. Did Ben need to purge the Initiative? Did he come to power in another way?

5. We should've known something was wrong with Locke. In the episode, "Follow the Leader," Flocke takes Ben and Richard to the site of the downed Beechcraft so Richard can give Locke instructions. Flocke tells Richard that a "man" will come out of the forest, and continues to refer to himself in third person for the remainder of the scene. This was really cool writing.

6. Jorge Garcia has the best job in show business. Think about it. Hurley doesn't have to carry the entire show, but he gets pretty much the coolest lines. He re-writes The Empire Strikes Back, makes fun of Ewoks, compares their situation to Back to the Future, and throws Hot Pockets. Plus, he gets to show up for work and get paid for looking all scraggly and unkempt, like he just got out of bed. Don't we all wish for a job like this?

7. "They're coming." These are Jacob's final(?) words before Flocke kicks him into the fire. What does he mean by this? Is he talking about Ilana, Bram and crew? Or does he mean someone else? My early speculation is that he's talking about Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Hurley, Sun, Jin, and Locke. We learned from his conversation with the Man-in-Black at the beginning of "The Incident" that Jacob brings people to the Island. I assume by revealing that Jacob touched each of these characters at specific points in their lives, he has left a mark on them that will be the reason they return to the Island in season six. These are the characters he needs to accomplish his goal, whatever that is. My speculation here, of course, is based on the notion that Jack's plan works, and Oceanic 815 lands at LAX in 2004. It might be reasonable to think that three years pass for the passengers of Oceanic 815, but once Jacob is killed, his mark is activated and our main characters are mysteriously called back into the fray.

8. Can Desmond's story really be over? Eloise Hawking confessed to Penny at the hospital that for the first time in a while she had no idea what would happen next. In the episode "316," she told Desmond the Island wasn't through with him yet. If Jack successfully rebooted time, does that put an end to Des' story? I doubt it, but it's worth discussing, right?

9. When Jack straps the thermonuclear device backpack on, he looks like Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters.

10. I thought Jack's motivation for detonating the bomb was a bit weak -- to erase his memories about Kate -- at first, but it actually made a lot of sense this second time around. We always thought Jack was very selfless when he was first introduced, but over the course of five seasons, I think there's more evidence of how self-serving he is. Season five showed us a humbled Jack who finally realizes his life is so fucked up that there's nothing better to do than start over. Detonating Jughead was more a suicide attempt than anything else.

I'm sure there were more thoughts, but they were probably things like, "When should I pause so I can pee," or "Did Jason eat the last of the Chex mix?" Regardless, the most important thought is this:

Forty days.

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