Friday, February 9

Lost Friday - "Not In Portland."

Lost Friday - Not In Portland.
Season 3 - Episode 7: "Not In Portland."

The first Lost Friday of 2007 is finally upon us; we have much to discuss. It's good to be back.

Like most obsessive Lost fans with lacking social skills and varying degrees of agoraphobia, I prepared for Wednesday night like a heart surgeon might prepare for a quadruple-bypass on their own mother. Perhaps even with more scrubbing on my part.

The house was cleaned as soon as I came home from work, the bills were paid and the cats were properly fed and attended to. The phone was shut off, the beer was expertly poured into my antique stein from 1887, and the phone was shut off once again, just to be sure. Make no mistake about it, I wanted to make absolutely certain that nothing- nothing, was going to hinder my enjoyment of the triumphant return of the Most Kick-Assiest Show On Television.

Almost as an apology for taking three months off, Lost delivered in spectacular fashion, throwing us junk-first into the mess we last abandoned in November. By the end of the episode, it was as if there was no winter hiatus at all.

In keeping with that spirit, allow me to throw you junk-first into the Thick & Meaty.

The Thick & Meaty.

FLASHBACKS:

The episode begins with a Juliet flashback. She's living in Miami and tending to her ill sister, who's ill with some sort of illness. We soon find out that Juliet has been stealing meds from the medical facility where she works in order to test an experimental remedy on said sister. Juliet's hair is full of bounce, volume and shine. I made a point to acknowledge that.

As it turns out, Juliet is an accomplished fertility doctor (which we were made aware earlier in the season). Her ex-husband, Edmund, happens to be her boss at the medical facility, and a world-class dickbag to boot. When he becomes aware of the experiments she is conducting out-of-office, he proposes a collaboration with her, in order to generate some sort of fame from her projects.

She then tells him that she's not a sellout, makes the Metal Sign and spits in his coffee.

That's why I use Pert!
(Juliet's annual face-lift didn't pan out quite so well this year.)

Shortly thereafter, Juliet is wooed by representatives from Mittelos Biosciences, as they are aware of her talents and want her to work for them in Not-Even-Close-To-Portland. She then has a breakdown about as classic as some of my many failed job interviews, and tells them that they're going to have to hit her ex-husband with a bus if they want her to work for them.

Money is exchanged and the hit is put out on Edmund. In the distance, a dog barks, walks around in circles, and lies down.

After the interview, Juliet returns to her sister to find that she is pregnant, and the experimental medications have worked. To celebrate, they both drink Jameson and water until they pass out.

EvilCo!
(A subsidiary of EvilCo.)

The next day, Juliet is talking to Edmund about her breakthrough and subsequent hangover. Edmund responds by haphazardly stepping into the street and getting obliterated by a bus. Juliet takes two aspirin and heads for the nearest vending machine.

At the morgue, she is once again approached by the Mittelos folks, who insist she come and work for them. When she begins to speculate that they were somehow behind Edmund's murder, they distract her with a shiny object until she calms down. They also reveal that they know about her sister being pregnant, but knock Juliet out and stuff her into a burlap sack before she gets too suspicious.

HYDRA ISLAND:

That's why I wear a mask.
(Jack becomes suddenly aware that on the mainland he was recognized as a locksmith, not a spinal surgeon as previously assumed.)

Jack instructs Kate and Sawyer to escape, completely unaware that they are on 'Alcatraz,' a smaller island a few miles away from the main island. While he waits for the all-clear from Kate, he manages to slice Ben's kidney sack another 18 times.

Kate and Sawyer escape from their guards and head for the shore. After a little gunfight and some punchy-kicky with the guards, they are saved by a slingshot-wielding Alex. They hide out until the guards leave them alone and return to their mid-day book club (this week's selection is 'Marley & Me').

Nice ass.
("...And that's how I got into commemorative spoon collecting. You?")

Back in the operating room, Jack, Juliet and Tom are all pointing fingers. Jack spills the beans about Juliet's attempt to murder Ben, which she denies to Tom. Eventually, Ben wakes up and asks to talk to Juliet in private. He attempts to stand up, causing most of his insides to spill out of the postcard-sized hole in his back.

While Ben and Juliet chat, Jack and Tom split a bag of Texas Grill Fritos in the cafeteria and talk about girls that they like. When Juliet returns, we find out that Ben has offered to take her off of the island if his own life is spared. Jack wipes his hands on his pants and returns to the surgery.

On the shore, Alex will give Kate and Sawyer the boat they need to escape, but they need to help her rescue her boyfriend (Karl) first. Sawyer then asks Alex if she used to have a bit part on Malcolm In The Middle, a claim that she denies.

I don't have Lacey Chabert's number!
("Yes, Party Of Five ran for six seasons! Why is that so damn hard to understand?")

After making a teenage guardsman wet his pants in fear, the three enter a containment facility in search for Karl. They eventually find him in Room 23, unwillingly participating in a Ludovico Technique-like experiment. In Karl's case, he is strapped to a chair with LED glasses, being sedated through an IV and forced to watch the entire first season of According To Jim on DVD.

Karl isn't dead, but he sure wishes he were.

Talk about a Hot Karl!
("Jim...Belushi...is...a...comedic...treasure.")

Juliet, true to her word, kills Danny in an attempt to let Kate, Karl and Sawyer go free. Before they sail off, however, Jack makes Kate promise to not return for him. In the operating room, Jack thinks he has successfully removed Ben's tumor, and tells Juliet that they will need to run a few more tests. Juliet responds by listening to Buster Poindexter's "Hot, Hot, Hot" at full blast through the intercom system, dancing provocatively until the screen fades to black.

It was a weird episode.

In order for us to properly appreciate it, we have to Break It Down!

Break It Down!

4 - I became intensely aware of how much I missed Lost as soon as I saw Sawyer repeatedly bashing Danny's head against the food button in the Polar Bear cage, eventually electrocuting him in the process. Actually, just being able to write that sentence down without sounding crazy is validation enough. You could tell that Sawyer had been waiting for days to finally do that.

Your order's up.
(No caption necessary.)

8 - When did Tom become such a nice guy? It seems like everyone takes their orders from Ben, but Tom and Juliet seem to outrank each other depending on what the situation is. His introduction to Jack ("I'm Tom, by the way") was strangely humorous and awkward. I think it was his way of saying, "Hey man, I'm sorry that I blew up that boat, stole the black kid and made you guys think I was a grizzled World War II vet. Let's start anew!"

15 - Clearly, Dharma (and Hanso and Mittelos and Widmore and Geronimo Jackson and whoever else is responsible for this island) wanted to snag Juliet because of her fertility breakthroughs. This plays into why the Others were stealing all of those children, along with the attempted abduction of a pregnant Claire, as well. We also know that Alex (Rousseau's daughter), has been raised with Juliet and Ben as parents. It will be interesting to see what story they have been telling Alex all this time.

Michael!!!!
("WAAAAALLLLLLT!!!")

16 - Edmund's death was spectacular and completely unexpected. Easter Egg-wise, the bus that hit him had an ad for Apollo Candy Bars on the side of it. Also, the airplane viewed by Juliet at the start of the episode was an Oceanic flight, Rachel's pregnancy test was from Widmore Labs, and Mittelos is an anagram for "Lost Time." I know that everyone already knows that, but the Missus pointed it out right away, and I thought that was pretty cool of her to spot.

Slightly off the flight path, here.
(When you want to fly round-trip at no more than 30 feet off the ground, fly Oceanic.)

23 - Karl's 'Room 23' behavior modification scene was a brilliant example as to what kind of artistic freedom the writers of Lost have. Just when you think that the show has finally settled into some sort of dialogue and character-driven island drama, they throw the sci-fi psychological torture element at you, causing you to completely lose your crap in the process. You know it's always around the corner, but you're never quite ready for it. Just like Ryan Seacrest.

Jim Belushi is so untalented! Aaaaugh!
("This movie is still going to be better than Ghost Rider, I'm sure of it.")

42 - To those of you who still have this episode on TiVo, I implore you to re-watch the scene where Kate and Sawyer are making a break for it through the jungle. Kate takes a huge fall here, without the aid of a stunt woman. I mean, she just takes a split-second running leap onto her face, and it was enough to make me say to my wife, "Holy crap, did you see her fall over?"

There. The episode has been served up, dished out, sliced into pieces, chewed 30 times, swallowed and savored. It's time to move onto next week's episode, with Spoilers Ahoy!

Spoilers Ahoy!

4 - Next Wednesday's episode is titled "Flashes Before Your Eyes." It's the 8th episode of Season Three, and it will be Desmond-centric.

8 - ABC's official preview reads: "A suspicious and determined Hurley enlists Charlie to help him wrangle the truth out of Desmond, who has been acting strangely ever since the implosion of the hatch." Obviously, this episode should focus mainly on the lives of the castaways on the main island, and how they've been living since the carnage.

15 - Producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindleof say: "I think you'll get a real sense of the answer to what happened to the kids who were abducted in about the second episode back after the break. I think that's a reasonable connection to think that it has to do with Juliet being a fertility doctor."

Drink Coke!
(Brought to you by the Emo Goldfish Council.)

16 - Flight attendant Cindy and kids Zack and Emma will be back in this episode, we thinks.

23 - The Widmores will also be popping up, and Penny was the main love interest of Desmond on the mainland.

42 - There's no way in hell that I'll be writing this much stuff every week for the next 16 weeks; it's just not possible. Besides, these recaps strictly prohibit me from getting drunk on a Thursday night, which was a long-standing CDP tradition dating back to 1986, when I was just four years old.

As always, here are all the Lost Friday links for Season Three. Enjoy and delight in recent nostalgia. Start the discussion in the comments section, or e-mail me at communistdance@yahoo.com. When you're done polishing my ego like a Granny Smith apple, head on over to The Coconut Internet and tell them that the CDP sent you.

See you next week.

Season 3 Preview
Season 3 - Episode 1 Review
Season 3 - Episode 2 Review
Season 3 - Episode 3 Review
Season 3 - Episode 4 Review
Season 3 - Episode 5 Review
Season 3 - Episode 6 Review

Wednesday, February 7

>: 4 8 15 16 23 42

Lost Friday-02/09/07.

Cancel your plans.

It's back.

Tuesday, February 6

Top 5 Super Bowl Commercials.

This previous Sunday, I made a point to watch every commercial aired on CBS from 4:30 to 9:30pm. It was my hope that this year would reward me with several hilarious and instantly-classic 30-second ad spots, the likes of which we haven't seen in almost a decade.

It really didn't. I wasn't surprised.

Still, I pushed onward and selected my 5 favorite commercials from the pack. I graded each spot based on a scientific formula consisting of the following parameters:

1. No K-Fed (don't bring his commercial up).
2. No erection pills or pharmaceutical medications.
3. No talking animals, or animals of any kind.

Here then, the Top 5 Super Bowl Commercials of 2007. Each ad is only 30 seconds long, so take the time to check them all out.

#5 - Bud Light - "Hitcher."



Like it or not, Budweiser is always the largest Super Bowl sponsor, boasting the first commercial of the year, every year. I preferred this one over their "rock, paper, scissors" and "fist bump" ads simply because I thought it had more depth and humor. Which reminds me, where were all the terrible Pepsi ads this year?

#4 - Snickers - "Kiss."



I don't think I've ever seen a commercial that showed two members of the same sex kissing, comical or otherwise. Shock factor aside, the idea that you can negate an accidentally 'gay' moment by doing something heroically stupid and 'manly' will always make guys laugh.

#3 - Emerald Nuts - "Goulet."



I remember all of the Emerald ads from last year, and they must have the same agency producing their 2007 ads. Pure surrealist comedy here; considerably funnier if you actually know who Robert Goulet is.

#2 - Combos - "Mom."



This is really how a humorous commercial should be made. Give the viewer an out-of-the-ordinary situation that grabs their attention. Play it completely straight until the final, narrated punch line. It's Commercial Humor 101, and it's still funny even after you know how it ends.

#1 - Garmin - "Take On The World."



This commercial completely caught me by surprise, and it's absolutely wonderful. Every year, a previously unknown company splurges on a 30-second Super Bowl ad, and just nails it. I've watched this ad at least a handful of times now, and it's head-shakingly perfect in its satire of Japanese commercials and culture (as viewed through the eyes of an American). Brilliant.

There you have it. Sound off in the comments section, and let me know if any links are dead.

Monday, February 5

Another Reason To Love Arcade Fire.



Last week, I gave mad props and respek' to Arcade Fire for performing a free show at a Canadian High School. This week, we see Arcade Fire doing what has now become common place at their mind-blowing live shows.

As an encore, Win Butler and company head out to the lobby of the venue to lead the audience in an impromptu version of 'Wake Up.' Other nights have shown Arcade Fire taking their encore onto the streets of whatever city they happen to be in, stopping traffic and causing general blissful mayhem.

Neon Bible, the band's second full-length, will be released in the States on March 6. Until then, watch this clip and get all choked up. Enjoy your Monday.

TUESDAY - THE TOP 5 SUPER BOWL COMMERCIALS.