Season 5 – Episode 13: “Some Like It Hoth.”
Another Lost Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss.
In the comments section of last week’s Lost Friday, some random dude passively sniffed something along the lines of, ‘Judging by these photo captions, I can’t tell if you even watch the show anymore.’
Now, I can’t tell what his motives were for saying that to me (good-natured ribbing, boredom, a de-evolutionary tactic that turns everybody on the Internet into a critic), but whatever the case, this week’s Lost Friday is the Fourth of July Sparkler in his general direction, as we’re going Old School and all-out with a 3500-word, Retro Lost Friday worthy of raucous celebration and delicious, sticky pastries. For longtime fans of Lost Friday, you’ll hopefully be happy to see the return of some of your favorite segments. For new fans, you’ll see exactly how lazy I’ve become with my recaps.
I liked this week’s episode. Liked it a lot. Liked it so much, in fact, that I watched the entire episode without reaching once for my iPhone to sneak in a quick game of Yahtzee (I bought the free knock-off version, titled ‘Yacht’). It was interesting, put the pieces in place for the pending Season Finale, asked and answered a lot of questions, and featured riveting footage of Jack erasing a chalkboard. It did its job perfectly; just like any decent episode of Lost.
(Sure, young Miles could hear the dead, but he couldn’t work a door to save his life.)
Look, I know that Season 5 didn’t turn out to be exactly what most of us wanted. In fact, for a lot of people, this season brought our biggest fears to light concerning the show we love so much. What was once logical, scientific and always ready to offer a somewhat-reasonable explanation for its bizarre actions (like an alcoholic Uncle, perhaps), has waved the nerd flag of time travel, looping overlaps in human existence, ageless tribes, attractive redheads, and various other things that have no solid basis in reality.
Yeah, I said it; redheads don’t turn me on. I’d say it again if I had to.
(Juliet and Sawyer typically frittered away their evenings by throwing Cheetos into each other’s mouths.)
But hey, once you get over the fact that not everything in life will go the way you think it will (or nothing at all, if you’re…say, me), you once again respect the brilliant storytelling, baffling character maps and all the other astounding genius that make Lost one of the greatest television dramas of all-time. The fact that we only have about 17 more episodes left before it’s gone forever is equal parts bittersweet and pants-peeingly exciting.
You know what else is pants-peeingly exciting? The triumphant return of the Thick & Meaty!
IN MILES-SCENTED FLASHBACKS:
In the ritziest neighborhood this side of…oh, probably every episode of Cops, we see Miles’ mother scouting out apartments for herself and her little bastard (both insulting and accurate). Initially, the landlord is opposed to having Asian children around the premises, as they have a tendency to play their math homework way too loud at all hours of the night, but Lara ensures him that Miles is a mild-mannered Ghost Whisperer; nothing more or less.
Lara gives Tiny Miles (inches?) a quarter for a soda, presumably because he has a hankering for that one can of Ginger Ale that seems to be the only thing ever stocked in these types of vending machines. Instead, he goes all James Van Praagh on Apartment #4, where he finds a fresh corpse that won’t seem to shut up about his exploding heart. Lara is understandably concerned, but the landlord seems to be more astonished with the fact that Miles knew the man’s wife’s name, and not the fact that he’s inches away from a dead body. Apparently, this sort of stuff happens all the time around there, but noisy children? That’ll be two months rent up front.
(“Okay, don’t get mad, but I accidentally taped over Battle Of The Network Stars.”)
Several years later, Miles now resembles the guy that used to kick my ass in Street Fighter II at the Aladdin’s Castle arcade every day during the Summer of 1997. He goes to visit his mom on her deathbed, where she remains stubborn about revealing information about his father and where they used to reside. She claims that he’s long dead, and nothing short of a Time Machine, magical coordinates to a secret island, and a miraculous masterstroke of good timing will ever reunite them.
‘Not a problem,’ says Miles.
Years later, we see Miles cashing in on his psychic gift. Sort of like a blazer-wearing Sylvia Browne, only more talented and not an evil, withered, cancer-riddled shell of a human being. Here, we find out that Miles’ gift only works when the corpse is intact (no cremations, unknown locations or Black Hole vaporizations, please), yet he’s still more than willing to grift a grieving dude if the price is right. Hey, gift or no gift, he’s still a psychic, after all.
Miles then runs into Naomi, who ranks around #82 on the List of Dead Characters I Wanted to See Again, wedged right between Paulo and Dr. Arzt. She tells him that Widmore is leading an expedition to Richard Alpert Island, and they could sure use his corpse interviewing talents to help locate and ritualistically slaughter Ben Linus. As an audition, he does a reading on a deceased fellow named Felix, who was killed while delivering all of that ‘Fake Flight 815 Wreckage’ stuff to Widmore. Miles is initially not interested in the free tropical getaway, but Charles backs up the Money Truck and he quickly agrees.
(Kate’s still denying those Botox rumors, but she ain’t fooling nobody.)
Later on, we see Miles enjoying a fish taco on the sidewalk (still the most disgustingly-named and slapped-together foodstuff on God’s green Earth), when he’s Code Adam’d by a van full of jack-booted thugs. We recognize one of the guys as Bram, who was a member of the ‘new’ castaways that crashed with the New And Improved Oceanic 5. This causes me to stop Twittering for a minute and actually look at the television, as this is the first major plot point of the episode.
Is seems that Bram, along with a few others from that plane, are on the ‘Non-Widmore’ side of the Great Island War of Whatever Year It Happens To Be, and tried their damnest to convince Miles to start batting for the other team (in a manner of speaking). When Miles refuses to turn down the $1.6 million bucks promised by Charles, they dump him back onto the street, sans one delicious, nutritious fish taco.
ON THE ISLAND, WHERE JUMPSUITS RULE:
(“This isn’t to share, dude; this is just my lunchbox.”)
Kate and Sawyer are on their way back from handing Little Ben off to Richard, and they radio Miles so he can erase the security tape. Before he can handle this seemingly simple task, Jackass Horace shows up and makes Miles a member of the ‘Circle Of Trust,’ which is merely another name for ‘Corpse Courier.’
‘Horace?’ more like ‘Borin’ Us.’ Am I right, people? High five. Touchdown.
Miles heads out to pick up the dead body and transport it back to Horace. Through his Shining-esque powers, he finds out the the deceased in question, a man named Alverez, died by having his filling ripped out of his mouth and shot straight through his brain. Electromagnetic Activity is a dangerous thing, kids; remember that the next time you need an MRI. Refuse it with every fiber of your crippled being.
(“I need to make sure that my son is okay, so he can brutally murder me in 20 years!”)
Roger Linus then shows up at the hospital and notices that Ben is missing, which leads him into another trademark drunken, blubbering tirade. Seriously, I had no idea that people were so whiny in 1977. Anyway, Kate continues to comfort Roger for some completely unknown reason, leading him to suspect shenanigans, hornswoggling, and/or possible hoodwinkery.
Later that night, Sawyer returns home to find Phil ready to out him for the kidnapping of Mini Ben (way to grab that security tape, Miles). Instead of fessing up or…I don’t know…conning his way out of the matter, Sawyer decides to just knock him goofy and string him up in his house instead. Personally, I would have shot him in the head, fed him to the Polar Bears, and forever denied his very existence like Area 51. “Phil? Who is this Phil you speak of? We never had an employee named Phil! Stop this nonsense! That was a weather balloon!“
Back with Horace Mushmouth McWhinerpants III, he consults with Dr. Chang (aka. Marvin Candle, aka. Mark Wickmund, aka Ron Mexico) and tells Miles to transport Alvarez’s husk to the Orchid station. There, he runs into Hurley, where through a madcap series of comic mishaps, he discovers the dead body, they both admit to speaking to dead people, and Hurley eats Alvarez.
(Naomi has a Mustache Potential Quotient (MPQ) of 6. This falls somewhere between myself and Robin Williams.)
Dr. Markvin Canwickchang is less than pleased that Hurley came along for the ride, as he alone causes the fuel economy of the VW Bug to decrease by about a gajillion percent. Somewhere along the way, Miles admits to Hurley that Chang is his long-lost-but-now-present-day father. The three of them drive over to the Swan Station, still very much under construction, where Hurley continues to attempt a father and child reunion between the two estranged Asians.
After dropping off Dr. Chang, Miles discovers that Hurley is rewriting the script for The Empire Strikes Back, which, let’s face it, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. However, it draws parallels between the daddy issues displayed between Miles and Chang, so…I guess that’s something. Either way, this causes Miles to attempt gain some sort of relationship with his father, which leads to spying on himself as a baby. This, surprisingly, does not make the Earth explode.
(“You’re not, by any chance, my time traveling son, are you?”)
However, we then see Daniel Faraday pop his head out of a submarine, which instantly makes my cerebral cortex explode.
Smash cut; episode over.
For all the information that we wrung out of this episode, it was rather simplistic and straightforward, certainly moreso than the other Season 5 episodes. That being said, there are still a few things that are sticking in my proverbial craw, so to speak. For that, we must Break It Down!
1. The lies, deception and clear lack of managerial skills from Sawyer is leading up to a final showdown between the Dharma Initiative and the characters we’ve known and loved for years now. In previous episodes, we’ve always heard about an ‘incident’ that caused all sorts of problems for the Dharma folk, and it seems that this Incident was actually caused by our friends in the Oceanic 6.
Funny how things work out. It’s almost exactly like the time I realized that I’m nowhere near as fully formed of a human being as I wanted to be at the age of 27, and it was because a younger version of myself wrecked my past life with terrible music, embarrassing haircuts and cheap vodka.
2. For the first time in the history of the series, a character (in this case, Miles), came face to face with a younger version of himself. Now, putting aside the fact that this is completely impossible and a borderline-insult to anyone that even pretends to accept Time Travel as a futuristic reality, I was surprised at just how nonchalant he was with the realization. In fact, he was more emotional about watching his father take an interest in him than he was to see himself in the past. Are we supposed to assume that comes with the territory of time travel? Because if that were me, I surely would have started screaming and never stopped.
(The Sex Offender Registry clearly listed the ramifications of drunkenly hanging out on the playground, but Roger wasn’t having any of it.)
3. At first, the returning Oceanic 5 did so under the guise that they were saving the lives of those they left behind on the Island. However, now that they have returned and discovered that they’re in 1977, they’re beginning to wonder why they went through the trouble. My question is this. If Kate, Jack and Hurley came to the collective conclusion that they have no real reason to hang around; why don’t they just do a shitty job and get sent back home to the 1977 mainland?
Look at it this way. They think Locke is dead, Sawyer and Juliet have no intention of leaving, nobody has even bothered to ask where Sun is, and Sayid has decided to go rogue on everyone. So seriously, what’s the point of sticking around? At this point, I’d be much more excited about returning to America in the 70’s than I would be to save a few people that don’t need to be saved. For the television shows and discos alone, really.
4. I don’t know about you, but I think that the Series Finale should just be a 55 minute-long fistfight to the death between Ben and Charles, with all of the surviving members of the cast cheering them on and throwing crumpled currency around, Bloodsport-style.
(This is the only machine keeping My Network TV on the air.)
5. At the end of this week’s episode, we see that not only is Faraday alive, well and back in 1977, but that he’s been doing some warp-whistling all over the mainland. Now, I hate this guy as much as the next self-respecting fan, but he’s got information that we need, and the word around the campfire is that he’s finally going to spill it in two weeks. After that, the Smoke Monster can spew hunks of his hollowed-out shell all over the ocean, as far as I’m concerned.
Still not enough information for you? Make way for The Numbers!
4 – This is the first time that one of the Kahana crew members were given their own flashback episode. I would have enjoyed a Keamy-centric episode, however, which consisted of him just murdering people by the dozens as he advanced through the public school system.
8 – The periodic table on the wall in the Schoolhouse contained elements not yet discovered in 1977. Also, the answer for every question was ‘Bruce Jenner.’
15 – When Kate is sharing a beer with Roger Linus, the pop-top is a new style, not a 70’s-era pull tab-top. And no, I did not notice that myself. I have a crack research team at my disposal, known only as ‘The Internet.’
(“Listen man, I just want to thank you for taking my place as the most annoying failure on the show; I appreciate this.”)
16 – The number ‘3:16’ appears on the microwave in the first flashback scene, the man who had the heart attack died in Apartment #4, the number 8 is written inside the ear of the rabbit statue where Young Miles finds the apartment key, Sawyer asks Miles to delete the security video from Camera 4, Naomi tells Miles that Widmore will pay him 1.6 million dollars, Miles tells Bram that he’ll switch teams for 3.2 million dollars, we see ‘4815162342’ being hammered into the door of the Swan Hatch, and the cover of the Sports Illustrated magazine Miles is reading in the security station reads ‘After 23 Years…’.
23 – Dharma is apparently building the Swan Station in Hostile territory and hiding it under the cover of fake foliage, a direct violation of the truce between the two camps. This will assuredly ruffle Alpert’s eyeliner a nip.
(You’ve been LaFleur’d!)
42 – I’m not a Star Wars fan, but I did appreciate the subtle parallel between Luke losing his hand and the eventual reveal of Dr. Chang losing his hand. I don’t think that they’ve ever mentioned or even referred to the fact that Dr. Chang has a prosthetic hand in certain scenes, so I found this to be a clever nod of the cap towards the more obsessed viewers.
Certainly a lot of awesomeness for one episode. In fact, let’s spotlight just a handful, with 5 Awesome Things!
1. Somehow, despite lacking Locke, Ben, Desmond, Sun, Jin, Sayid and Richard, they made this a halfway-decent episode, pushing the plot along smoothly while staying true to the development of one specific character. It had more of an ‘old-school’ feel to it, as the flashbacks and present day footage were told in a style similar to Seasons 1 and 2.
2. Alvarez’s filling was ripped out of its socket and shot out the front of his head. If you don’t think that’s awesome, there’s something seriously wrong with you. I’m personally holding out for a flashback scene that shows it happen; maybe sometime around Sweeps.
3. Miles’ grey sideburns. Those things rule!
(“…and then the scientist abandoned his wife and child to continue his research, lost his arm and eventually died alone and afraid on a secret island. Now let’s get you ready for bed.”)
4. One brief scene that I wanted to discuss more at length was the seemingly insignificant one between Jack, Sawyer and Juliet back at Sawyer’s house. If you recall, Jack was there to tell Sawyer that Roger was suspecting Kate of knowing something about Ben’s disappearance; sort of a ‘heads up’ type of warning.
This got me to thinking about the subtle games of one-upsmanship concerning the endless ‘Love Square’ between Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Juliet. When Jack showed up to tell Sawyer the news, he could have just as soon had Juliet relay the message to him and be on his merry way, but he didn’t. He sat around. Had Juliet make him some coffee. Probably asked her how she was doing; all to relay a five second communique to Sawyer. Did you see the look of concern and gentle annoyance upon Sawyer seeing Jack in his house? It was beautifully well-played, brilliantly passive-aggressive, and a really cool scene for those that pay attention to that sort of stuff.
(In actuality, we’d be a lot better off had Hurley just murdered George Lucas instead.)
5. At least five minutes of this week’s episode were shots of people getting into, getting out of, or simply driving around in VW buses. Too awesome to ignore.
Before we move onto the preview of next week’s episode, we still have an award to hand out. Make way for the Jerk Of The Week!
For the unforgivable stubbornness of leaving your son in the dark about his dad, the Dharma Initiative, the Island and his gift of post-mortem gab, Lara is hereby bestowed the honor of Jerk of the Week. Congrats!
Divert your eyes! Spoilers ahoy! It’s time for The Preview!
1. Episode 14 is titled ‘The Variable.’ It will be Daniel Faraday-centric. It also marks the 100th Episode of Lost, for those keeping score at home.
2. The official press release from ABC reads: “The time of reckoning has begun when Daniel Faraday comes clean regarding what he knows about the island.” You can make a drinking game out of the episode and take a shot every time Daniel stutters or stammers, but don’t call me when you need to get your stomach pumped.
3. From Spoilerfix: “This episode is a direct follow up from ‘The Constant.’ It continues with Desmond’s and Daniel’s adventures. We get more info on Daniel’s notebook statement: ‘Desmond is my Constant.’ This episode may also explain why Desmond left the army.”
I liked the idea of ‘Desmond’s and Daniel’s adventures,’ like they’ve been off fighting crime in a convertible or something.
(“He-he-he-hello th-th-th-th-there, Ma-ma-ma-ma Miles.”)
4. Expect to see Richard Alpert, Penny Widmore, Charles Widmore, Dr. Chang, Eloise Hawking, what’s left of Phil and perhaps a young Charlie Pace, sans heroin.
5. Remember, next week’s episode is a clip show, so ‘The Variable’ will not air until Wednesday, April 29. Use this Lost-free week to watch Mythbusters instead.
Well, there you have it, another Lost Friday in the books. Start the conversation in the comments section, enjoy your weekend and check out links to every Lost Friday so far this season. Thanks much, kids.
Season 5 – Episode 1/2 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 4 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 5 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 6 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 7 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 9 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 10 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 11 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 12 Review.