Monday, April 28

Lost Monday - "The Shape Of Things To Come."

PEEEEEK!
Season 4 - Episode 9: "The Shape Of Things To Come."

After a short hiatus, Lost, Lost Monday and the CDP itself has returned for glory and gentle kisses. We have much to discuss; it's good to be back.

I decided to take last week off for a number of reasons, the most honest being that I was getting sick of hearing myself talk. The egotistical nature of Bloggers (well, the good ones, at least) dictates that they always have to be their own biggest fan, and that just wasn't happening, what with my busy schedule outside of the CDP and short posts and whatnot. That, coupled with my freelance work and an upcoming home purchase, made it clear that I needed to take a few days for myself. I don't remember if I've ever done that before, and it felt pretty decent. Maybe I'll do it again in five years.

Still, I was busy last week. On Tuesday, I cleaned out a filing cabinet that had been silently and willfully collecting every slip of paper me and the Missus have ever seen for the last six years. Every receipt, every check stub, every service warranty and every letter ever addressed to us had been stuffed into that poor thing, and two garbage bags later, the nightmare was over. However, if you happen to be in a Madison landfill and come across a giant Hefty bag full of personal and vital information concerning the identity and credit history of a certain author and humorist named Ryan J. Zeinert, do the right thing and leave it alone. You don't want my life, I can assure you.

On Wednesday, me and the Missus headed to the Sundance Theatre for the Lost Pub Quiz. My team (Named 'WAAAALLLLT!!!') ended up finishing 4th out of about 15 squads, which was a disappointment, but also a triumph considering the sheer amount of nerditude emanating from that building. I got to meet the alluring, bubbly and well-scrubbed Emily Mills, drank a little too much Jameson and gorged on sweet potato fries. No matter what the theme of the quiz is, it always ends the same for me; drunk, angry, sweaty and finishing 4th (although not necessarily in that order). I'm officially retiring from the Pub Quiz effective immediately, for my own good, and for the good of my wife and close friends.

Whatever, you damn nerds; I still get paid to write about Lost, so suck it.

Don't Talk To This Man At The Bus Stop.
(Jack Shepard. Doctor. Hero. Mildly Retarded.)

On Thursday, I ventured to Milwaukee for a date with one of my favorite hardcore-turned-emo-turned-Elephant 6-turned angry-turned-confused bands of all-time, Saves The Day. I also got to see Cargirl there (I got to say hello to two different CDP Alumni in back-to-back nights! Rapture!), and drunkenly yell in her ear for at least three hours. The six Captain Morgan and Cokes that I sucked back had an annoying effect on me; as Rum makes me goofy and caffeine makes me a babbling fool. I apologize to anyone that had to listen to me ramble that night, and special thanks to Benjamin for driving me home, Cargirl for being a sweetheart and Sherry for not spilling her burrito in the backseat of my spotless car.

One of the opening bands for Saves The Day was Metro Station, a band that featured a guy by the name of Trace Cyrus on guitar and backup vocals. I just now realized that he is the older brother of Miley Cyrus, who is best known as the face of the unspeakably popular and wealthy Hannah Montana franchise. And his dad is Billy-Ray Cyrus! How cool is that? I'd rip on him, but they were actually pretty catchy and non-threatening, as I had assumed they would be.

So, as you can surmise, I didn't see this week's episode of Lost until Friday evening, and it didn't disappoint in the least. In fact, it was one of the craziest and most action-packed episodes in the entire series of the show. We got some good old-fashioned bloodshed, a surprise death of a popular character, mythology abound and Benjamin Linus teleporting (more on that later). This strike-shortened season 4 has been cruising at breakneck speed, and the only shame is that there's merely four episodes left.

Put on your bib, it's time for The Thick & Meaty!

Thick And Meaty!

ON THE BEACH.

Kate opens the show with some side-boob teasing, as Jack tries to pretend that his appendix isn't about to burst out the side of his abdomen. The dead body of the Freighter's doctor washes ashore with his throat slit, and when questioned, Daniel once again speaks in fruity prose and riddles.

If I could kill one character before the Season 4 finale, I can't think of a better candidate than Daniel. He talks like a coked-up Yoda. Just complete a normal sentence, ya' jittery douche!

When Daniel is forced to send a Morse Code message back to the Freighter, he lies about the response he receives. According to the Freighter, the doctor is safe and sound on the boat. Fortunately, Bernard is a former Eagle Scout, and calls him onto the table for his shenanigans. Daniel reveals that it was never their intention to rescue anyone from the island, and Jack's intestines pop out at the revelation.

AT THE BARRACKS.

WAAAAAALLLLLLLT!!!!!
(Even dentists like Bernard suffer from TMJ every now and again.)

The captain of the freighter, along with a few of his camouflage-clad dirtbags pop a cap into Karl and Rousseau, and are now holding Alex hostage as leverage to capture Benjamin. As it would appear, Ben didn't set those three up at all (score one for pure evil!). The captors make Alex disarm the sonic fence surrounding the barracks, which she does...sort of.

In fact, she sent a distress call that alerted the Barracks, notably Locke, Sawyer and Hurley. When they check with Ben to see that the warning means, he pulls a shotgun and announces 'They're here!' Wow, I pity the first Jehovah's Witness that knocks on that dude's door.

Stuttery McUnnecessary.
("You could say that...um...well, speaking coherently is not my...um...primary concern.")

As Sawyer darts over to Claire's cabin to save her, three unnamed castaways get shot and killed, in a scene so comically slapstick that it could have been an homage to the Three Stooges. We all take a second to mourn these complete strangers, and then return to the action. Just when the gunfire and corpses can't cascade any faster, a goddamn RPG slithers into frame, vaporizing Claire's cabin with her inside.

Claire is okay, and just as whiny and annoying as ever. Sawyer gets her back into Locke's cabin with the rest, and Miles arrives with a walkie in which to communicate with the Freighter's captain. Initially, Ben wishes not to speak with Keamy, but finds out that Alex has been taken prisoner. After some wordplay and general weener waving between Keamy and Benjamin, Keamy has heard enough of Ben's heel-dragging and shoots Alex dead.

What a bastard. In fact, this was such a total dick more on the part of Keamy, that he wins the first-ever Lost Monday 'Jerk Of The Week' Award.

What A Jerk.

Congrats, you worthless asshole. Rest assured, however, that Keamy will receive swift and brutal retaliation in just a few minutes.

Benjamin, in total shock, utters the phrase, "He changed the rules," and retreats to a secret room, containing a stone wall covered with hieroglyphics. Some time later, he shows back up, looking like he just changed the oil in his car. He orders everyone to run into the forest, presumably into incoming gunfire. As the castaways start to question his judgment, the Smoke Monster, larger and angrier than we've ever seen, bursts in and seemingly tears the gunmen to shreds. As the survivors head out into the forest, Ben takes a moment to say goodbye to his daughter (that he kidnapped from Rousseau as a baby and has kept prisoner for 17 years).

This most recent Smoke Monster appearance was pretty awesome. I mean, we've seen it do some crazy things in the past, like eviscerate the Pilot, bash Mr. Eko to pieces against a tree, and attempt to suck Locke into an abyss, but it sure seemed on a direct mission this time. Also, it seems logical to theorize that it can be controlled by whatever Benjamin was doing in his secret bunker (the island has hundreds of them; apparently the Dharma folk were a paranoid bunch). This brings us to this week's 5 Awesome Things.

5 Awesome Things.

5 Awesome Things...You Could Do With Your Own Personal Smoke Monster.

1. Cut your morning commute to the office in half. Or, just cut your office in half.

2. No more Girl Scouts, trick-or-treaters and solicitors to your home. Ever.

3. Tree and stump removal at a fraction of the cost.

4. Stop the war in Iraq and execute the President for his crimes, all in less than 18 seconds.

5. See to it that none of Brett Favre's quarterback records are ever broken.

Yeah, I agree with you; it wasn't that funny of a list this week. Oh well, back to the Thick & Meaty.

Locke and Ben need Hurley to come with them, as they believe he knows the location of Jacob's cabin. I guess they need further instruction from Jacob, and Sawyer is having none of it. He, Miles, Claire and Aaron are heading back to the beach. They exchange quick pecks on the cheek and go on their separate ways.

IN FLASH-FORWARDS.

He Tried To Remove His Own Thyroid.
(The doctor tried to operate on his own thyroid.)

Benjamin wakes up in the middle of the Sahara desert, wearing a parka with a previously-unseen Dharma logo on it. It is at this point, that I fully realize that this is one of the best Lost episodes ever. I mean, come on. Dude just teleported from a Dharma station on the island! Are you kidding me? I guess that explains how he leaves the island, never mind that "I took Desmond's boat" crap that he gives Sayid later on in the episode.

Ben checks into a Tunisian hotel, where he asks the clerk for the year (hilarious!), and spots Sayid on television, hounded by the press, telling them that he 'just wants to bury his wife in peace.' I guess that Sayid worked quick in finding and marrying Nadia when he got off of the island, only to see her killed weeks later. We'll see that story fully explored in Season 5, I assume.

Ben tracks Sayid down, and claims to know who it was that killed his wife. He manages to convince Sayid that it was one of Widmore's men, which sends Sayid into a trademark rage, essentially giving Benjamin his own personal hitman for life. Ben is a guy that's pretty good at getting what he wants; one of the most manipulative and ruthless characters I've ever seen on television, next to Ryan Seacrest.

Oh No, I Loved....THAT Guy!
(Not the guy in the pink shirt! I loved that guy!)

Sayid, with Ben's help, tracks down and kills the man that (according to Ben) killed his Missus. This is the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship, and it looks as if he'll be killing many more of Widmore's men as the months roll along.

In one of the most important scenes in Lost history as far as mythology and history go, Ben shows up in Charles Widmore's hotel room in the middle of the night. Widmore, who's now speaking with an Australian accent (d'oh!), awakes and listens to Ben accuse him of murdering Alex. Ben then vows to kill Charles' daughter, Penelope, telling him that he'll make him 'wish he hadn't changed the rules.' Widmore counters that Ben will never find her, and that he wants "his" Island back. Ben says he will never find the Island, and that the hunt is on.

Smash cut, episode over. I had almost nothing to make fun of this week; it was damn-near television perfection. Don't get too used to this breakneck pace, however; it's just due to the writers and producers cramming 16 hours worth of season into 13 hours of show. Season Five will be around 19 episodes, and I wouldn't be surprised if almost all of them merely set the stage for the final Sixth Season. That being said, they're making up for Season 3 in a huge way. Bravo.

Enough ego-stroking. Let's Break It Down!

Break It Down!

4 - There's a good chance that the jacket Benjamin was wearing during his Sahara Desert excursion was from The Orchid, which appears to be the final Dharma station yet to be revealed. It's probably also the home for all of the time-travel weirdness that seems to be the highlight of Season 4.

Now, this whole 'Ben jumping through space and time' thing brings us to the most recent installment of Question Of The Week.

Question Of The Week.

If You Could Teleport To Anywhere At Any Time On Earth, Where Would It Be?

A. NCAA East Regional Final, 1992. Distract Christian Laettner seconds before his buzzer-beater victory over Kentucky.

B. Nuremberg, Germany, 1928. Kick Adolph Hitler so hard in the balls that he gives up his political aspirations for the quiet life of a needlepoint enthusiast.

C. Skywalker Ranch, 1993 or 1994. Kill George Lucas with a shovel, to prevent him from writing the Star Wars prequels.

D. High School Prom, 1998. Spare yourself that half-bottle of Smirnoff in the limo, so you don't throw up on Christina Cook's shoes during Coronation (this one's mainly just for me).

Of course, the correct answer is E: May 2010. Watch Lost Series Finale and die happy. Now let's continue with Break It Down!

George Bush Makes Toast.
(John McCain takes a lie detector test.)

8 - One of the Bedouin in the Sahara Desert points out how Ben does not have a trail. The other replies, "Where did this guy come from? Down from the sky?" More proof that Ben is teleporting. Bleep gleep glop glorp.

If you recall from last month, I wasn't a huge fan of 'The Constant,' mainly because I didn't like the inclusion of impossible theories like time travel or jumping through space. That all being said, if done correctly, it would explain a lot of things and not seem like too much of a cop out. I can't deny that I thought it was awesome last week, so I'll continue to trust the producers and writers on this one.

15 - When Jack was searching for pills to calm his bursting appendix, he chows down on some Amoxicillin, which makes sense for a doctor to do. Now you know. What I want to know is, how could there possibly be any of that stuff left on the Island? Everyone takes Amoxicillin!

16 - Taken directly from Lostpedia: "This was the first episode of Lost to feature footage filmed outside of the United States. The London scenes between Ben and Charles Widmore were filmed in London due to Alan Dale performing on stage in the West End during filming of the second block of Season 4."

Amazing to think that all of these desolate locations and avenues have all been shot within the good old United States. Wow.

He Really Should Be Used To This By Now.
(When your life has been ruined as many times as Sayid's, you pretty much always look like this.)

23 - As it would seem by Ben's trip to his secret lair, he has at least some control over the Smoke Monster. This means that he'll probably be able to offer some insight into it at some point this season (or the next). What's even more badass, though, is that the man keeps a shotgun in his piano bench. I bet Victor Borge did that, too.

42 - At least five people died on camera this week, with approximately another five or six dying off-camera. That has to be some kind of record, even for a show that racks up as many corpses as Lost.

Spoilers ahoy! Cover your eyes! Here comes The Preview!

Something Nice Back Home.

1. Episode 10 will be titled 'Something Nice back Home,' and it will be Jack-centric. I'm not sure what the 'something nice' is referring to, but it sure as hell better not be Kate. Gahh.

2. The official press release from ABC reads: "When Jack's health is seriously compromised, Kate and Juliet must learn to work together in order to save him; and something goes wrong as Sawyer, Claire, Aaron and Miles continue their trek away from Locke's camp and back to the beach."

3. Expect Jack's appendix to burst, and for Juliet to take charge and attempt to fix him. According to the actress that plays Juliet, "After reading this episode, I realized that Juliet really does truly love him."

4. Flash-forward-wise, this should be a big one, centering around Jack and Kate, mainly between his island rescue and his bearded-emo phase. "We're starting to close the loop on the end of last season," says Matthew Fox. "Jack in the future is a man marked by weakness, but the Jack of the present is strong. You're going to understand how he made that transition."

5. This bit of information comes to us from some on-set troll. "Lost returned to film another scene at the "Santa Rosa Mental Institute." Filming took place inside, with Jorge Garcia and Matthew Fox. But also featured prominently was John Terry (Christian Shepherd). Brief shots were filmed at the clinic's front desk, and inside Dr. Jack Shepherd's office." Rad.

Well, there you have it. Another Lost Monday in the books. Start the discussion in the comments section, send all erotic photography to communistdance@yahoo.com, and enjoy your day. Also, feel free to catch up on the entire Fourth Season of Lost Monday by clicking on the links below. Thanks for reading, nerds.

Lost Monday - Episode 1 Recap.
Lost Monday - Episode 2 Recap.
Lost Monday - Episode 3 Pop Crunch Recap.
Lost Monday - Episode 4 Recap.
Lost Monday - Episode 4 Pop Crunch Recap.
Lost Monday - Episode 5 Recap.
Lost Monday - Episode 6 Recap.
Lost Monday - Episode 7 Recap.

Comments:
Finally. Welcome back.

I managed to miss the first ten minutes of the episode, so thanks for cathcing me up.

Also - my theory on the 'smoke monster'? Nanotechnology. Seriously.
 
Thanks much.

No problem, the first 10 minutes were absolutely insane. After the first commercial break, everyone in my living room just kind of looked at one another in stunned disbelief.

Nanotechnology? Like the Nanites on MST3K? That would be awesome.
 
Argh - so I missed some really good stuff. Dang.

Yes, kind of like the nanites: tiny "robots" composed of both organic and inorganic materials, which can be programmed to function as a collective. I'm not sure if the technology is even still being developed, but if you've ever read Michael Chrichton's novel Prey, you'd see why I make the connection...the nanites in the book can effectively take over a living organism or attempt to replicate it, and mimic naturally ocurring behaviors, such as swarming & predation. Which reminds me of the MO of Old Smokey.
 
You're not the first person to talk Nanotechnology in regards to Smokey; I think it's a good theory.

You can grab the first 10 minutes online somewhere; it's worth it for the carnage and explosions alone.
 
I like how Sawyer was all protective of Claire and Hurley. And Ben's comment about not being able to kill Widmore ... I read a theory somewhere that perhaps Widmore is his constant. Interesting ...
I love time travel.
 
Bubbly and well-scrubbed. Never have I been more aptly and concisely summed up. ;)

I'm gearing up to get all caught up with this damn show once and for all, hopefully by the time the next new episode airs. Then I can join the cool kids in reading your reviews when you post them, and not weeks/months/years later.
 
I think the smoke monster is time. Or something.
 
CAITLIN - Sawyer's acts of nobility in this episode trouble me. After all, we know what happens to castaways once they do something heroic.

Good theory about Widmore being Ben's constant. As the time-travel element becomes more in the forefront of the show, we might see a lot more of that. The idea that Ben might kill Penelope is chilling, and not a very good outcome for Desmond, either.

EMILY - I wanted to find a perfect way to sum up my first impression of you in just a handful of words. I feel as if I've done my job as a descriptive writer.

Season 4 ends on May 29, and Season 5 doesn't start until January of 2009, so something will give sooner or later.
 
HATHERY - I think you're hot. Or something.
 
I don't know that I've ever loved hating a character as much as I love/hate Ben. When he put an end to the two poor Bedouin fellows, I felt a familiar tinge of excitement, similar to the one that I felt when Sayid broke that Other guy's neck with his legs while his hands were tied behind his back (last season sometime?). And now that they are teamed up and killing for hire? I gotta be honest, it's hot as hell. But then, I've always found Sayid to be pretty hot.

This episode was sweet-ass-sweet. Glad to have Lost Mondays back! Even if only for a few more weeks...

MAN I'm dreading the long wait until January '09...
 
Thanks, Jennifer! As much as I'm not looking forward to the 7 month Lost drought, it's the only way I'm going to get my book even close to finished this year.

Benjamin is, without question, one of the best 'bad guys' in TV history, for all the reasons you've stated. A bad guy can't be truly awesome unless you like him just a little bit. Michael Emerson is such a brilliant actor, it's impossible to not respect his damn-near Emmy-winning performance last week, or any week, for that matter.

We're starting to understand his selfish motives, and although he needs the help of the castaways to survive for the time being, it's clear that he's still screwing everyone over in the future in order to take down Widmore.
 
Maybe only virgins can time travel, and that's why Ben and Daniel Faraday understand it. Poor Desmond just got dragged into it because he's Daniel's constant. Lord knows Desi isn't a virgin. That man is a TIGER! ROAR!
 
That comment just made me realize that if I ever have to sit through a Ben Linus sex scene, I'll most certainly puke my pants.
 
A line that caught me by surprise was when Widmore said to Ben, "I know who you are.... what you are..." He may have meant "what" as in "not a very nice person" but it seemed like more to me. Like Ben was more than what he seems. Like he was implying he knew there was something supernatural or nonhuman about Ben. I may be dreaming, but the religion vs. science aspects of the show seem prominent to me. Are we dealing with angels and demons... or something of the like?
 
Absolutely. Maybe Ben and Walt will have a final, good vs. evil supernatural showdown in the finale.
 
Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

The grudge match to end all grudge matches! The supernatural showdown that will knock your entire wardrobe off without explanation!

It's Ben "the Bug-Eyed Behemoth" Linus versus Walt "Special Boy" Lloyd in an epic, no-holds-barred throw-down that's sure to include moves like the Spit Water and Speak Backwards, the Teleport, the References to the Wizard of Oz, and the Estranged Father!

Get your tickets now!

(that's all I got, and now I'm exhausted)
 
Maybe Ben and Walt will have a final, good vs. evil supernatural showdown in the finale.

And the actor who plays Walt will be like what, 23 or so by then, so they'll film him standing in a pit with Michael Emerson standing on an apple crate, all filmed in forced perspective, soooo...that should be fun.

I like the idea of Widmore being Ben's constant. But now I'm all worried about Desmond's beard (I could give a flip about Penny - sorry).

*Some* supernatural elements, okay - and even the most far-fetched science fiction I can certainly handle, but an angels and demons apsect...I dunno. That would probably be taking it beyond what my cynical and skeptical brain is prepared to accept.
 
EMILY - Awesome. "BE THERE!"

MAUS - The Walt/Ben showdown will be their biggest special effects masterpiece to date.

I'm in the same boat with you. I can roll with some sci-fi, but I'm not watching a television show with angels on it.
 
Ok, if that's not it... then why the "I know WHAT you are..."? Is Ben an alien? A man from the future? It just seemed weird to me. Like a hint/foreshadowing that something is different about Ben.
 
Oh, something is different about Ben, all right. Anyone who has a secret tunnel in his closet that summons a monster made of smoke that's fueled by memories and tears people to ribbons is, without question, at least slightly off-kilter.

But yeah, I know what you mean.
 
I think Whidmore just meant that Ben is a virgin. He was just rubbing it in his face.

(I'm not letting this theory go.)
 
As a virgin, I'm taking offense to this.
 
Why? You can time travel.
 
If I had to choose between sex and time travel, I might have to just kill myself. To me, the only point in traveling through time would be to sleep with people.





/Kidding.
 
Anyone who has a secret tunnel in his closet that summons a monster made of smoke that's fueled by memories and tears people to ribbons is, without question, at least slightly off-kilter.

This is becoming my new MySpace quote.

So - thanks!
 
You're welcome. That's why I'm here.
 
The three one shot kills followed by Sawyer's Rambo-like run of invulnerability was a little much. I'm glad the ep settled out and kicked ass!
 
I am an absolute sucker for that token action sequence where someone runs for cover while everything around him is shot to bits. It's so utterly badass; I hope that I can act out a scene like that at some point.
 
It was such sheer disappointment when the house was blown to smithereens and Claire wasn't killed. What kind of poo is that?!?
 
Well, something is going to get between her and Aaron before the season is over, we just don't know what it is yet.

I wouldn't mind if it was a body bag.
 
Harsh. Harsh like Judd Nelson in "The Breakfast Club" harsh.
 
Maybe so.

I looked like Anthony Michael Hall for the first 19 years of my life.
 
I'm kind of like Ally Sheedy, without the dandruff.
 
Me?
Wimpy from the Popeye catroons
 
I feel like we've all learned a lot today.
 
Do you have any thoughts on this theory?

http://timelooptheory.com//the_timeline.htm
 

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