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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1905 on: November 19, 2016, 07:10:29 PM »
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SEASON 2


201   Man of Science, Man of Faith   9.8   
We meet Desmond. The hatch mythology begins. Some weak bits outweighed by all the powerful mystery.

202   Adrift      7.3   
The hatch retread brings us to the same place, which is brutally unfair. Michael's flashback and lost at sea content are not amazing. But the cliffhanger is great.

203   Orientation      9.9   
Really powerful character moments and mythology combine to make a pretty classic episode.

204   Everybody Hates Hugo   8.2      
Surprisingly touching episode.

205   ...And Found   7.9      
The Sun/Jin flashback is meh. Moment of the episode: seeing the others' feet walk by. Has a strong finish.

206   Abandoned    9.2      
Truly stunning acting from Maggie Grace, no joke. Really hardcore ending (Shannon's death).

207   The Other 48 Days   9.5
Approaches greatness. Less classic than I remember, though. Michelle Rodriguez's skillset clearly does not include crying. How bad were the takes they didn't use?

208   Collision   9.5      
Plot stalling is more than justified by countless strong character moments and a flawless ending.

209   What Kate Did   8.8      
Love triangle escalates. Evangeline Lily nails it once again. Classic hatch mythology cliffhanger.

210   The 23rd Psalm   7.5      
Serviceable but forgettable episode.

211   The Hunting Party   8.7      
Matthew Fox gives one of his best performances — mindblowing. First meeting with the Others.

212   Fire + Water   6.2      
Makes us hate Charlie. Tries to inspire sympathy with his flashback, but it's just not enough. He should be permanently exiled. The episode reeks of creating false drama to fill the mid-season lull, including Charlie's nonsensical behavior and a ridiculous love quadrangle. Only saving grace is a few moments of fun weirdness.

213   The Long Con   9.3      
This one really sneaks up on you. Surprisingly good. It does strain credulity that Charlie could follow Locke without being noticed, though. Hurley foreshadows time travel!

214   One of Them   9.6      
Epic performance by Michael Emerson. This is also maybe Sayid's best episode. Writing is great — feels like the season has finally found its purpose.

215   Maternity Leave   9.4      
Tons of great Others content. And some excellent assorted weirdness.

216   The Whole Truth   7.7      
Poorly-written filler episode with a really strong ending.

217   Lockdown   7.7      
Another filler episode, except for Jack vs. Sawyer poker (good) and the last few minutes (great). FYI, it's revealed that last episode's "lockdown" probably happened so hatch-dwellers wouldn't see where the food shipment came from.

218   Dave   8.2      
Underrated episode. Lots of fun. Plays with reality in a way that's true to the show.

219   S.O.S.   9.2      
Rose and Bernard's story. Those performances kind of take your breath away. The episode feels well-structured and sure-footed.

220   Two for the Road   8.4      
Average episode with a really great shocking ending. Michelle Rodriguez tries to cry again but still can't do it.

221   ?   9.3      
John's descent into doubt and despair is a bit much and drifts out of character. Against all odds, Eko upstages him. Otherwise, this episode is pretty great.

222   Three Minutes   8.7      
Pretty good. Feels a bit stretched, but a few beautifully-executed scenes bring the episode together. Why must everyone get knocked out all the time? — It verges on parody.

223   Live Together, Die Alone (Part 1)   9.4      
Exciting plot momentum. Desmond's flashback is really engaging. No classic moments yet, though.

224   Live Together, Die Alone (Part 2)   10.0      
One amazing revelation after another. This epitomizes a great Lost episode. Among the very best!



In order of favoriteness:


10.0   224   Live Together, Die Alone (Part 2)
9.9   203   Orientation
9.8   201   Man of Science, Man of Faith
9.6   214   One of Them
9.5   207   The Other 48 Days
9.5   208   Collision
9.4   215   Maternity Leave
9.4   223   Live Together, Die Alone (Part 1)
9.3   213   The Long Con
9.3   221   ?
9.2   206   Abandoned
9.2   219   S.O.S.
8.8   209   What Kate Did
8.7   211   The Hunting Party
8.7   222   Three Minutes
8.4   220   Two for the Road
8.2   204   Everybody Hates Hugo
8.2   218   Dave
7.9   205   ...And Found
7.7   217   Lockdown
7.7   216   The Whole Truth
7.5   210   The 23rd Psalm
7.3   202   Adrift
6.2   212   Fire + Water
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1906 on: November 19, 2016, 07:26:39 PM »
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SEASON 3


301   A Tale of Two Cities   9.4      
Legendary cold open.

302   The Glass Ballerina   8.7      
Decent episode. Engaging enough. But, as usual, Sun's flashback is a bit weak and overextended.

303   Further Instructions   7.7      
The sweat lodge sequence is wonderful, but otherwise Locke's content is underwhelming. Meanwhile, Desmond's new clairvoyance is exciting.

304   Every Man for Himself   9.6      
This is where Jack/Kate/Sawyer's imprisonment first peaks. So much going on from beginning to end. Sawyer's flashback, charactersitically, is brief and excellent.

305   The Cost of Living   7.3      
Eko's flashback: okay. John's adventure: garbage (some of his weirdest dialogue ever, plus overexposition). Jack's content: fantastic (and almost certainly written by someone else).

306   I Do   10.0      
Wow. The captive story definitely achieves its full potential here. Emotional intensity and complexity dominate. Dynamite performances from beginning to end. Visually masterful. This is probably the best mystery-free episode of the show.

307   Not in Portland   9.3      
More emotional intensity, with a few helpings of mythology.

308   Flashes Before Your Eyes   9.4      
The writing is surprisingly mixed. But conceptually, a huge leap forward. Lots of easter eggs, too... Charlie sings to Desmond: "maybe you're gonna be the one who saves me." Earlier, "Building A Mystery" plays on the clock radio.

309   Stranger in a Strange Land   7.0      
The flashback is pointless. The island stuff is more than passable, though. Not the sharpest episode, but hardly the worst ever, as many believe. It benefits from Matthew Fox's full commitment.

310   Tricia Tanaka Is Dead   8.0      
Flawed but fun.

311   Enter 77   8.4      
A decent adventure. Some of the mythology is tantalizing (chess game). But some feels silly ("shoot me"). Contrast with 313 — sort of in a different category.

312   Par Avion   9.6      
Claire's psyche and her dynamic with Charlie both come to life here. Music is amazing throughout. Has one of the best episode endings ever!

313   The Man from Tallahassee   10.0      
Powerful and pitch-perfect from beginning to end. A smart episode executed to its full potential. Another one that epitomizes the show.

314   Exposé   9.5      
A unique (though not flawless) gem. Wonderfully indulgent. You can feel the creative energy that went into this one.

315   Left Behind   9.3      
Smart episode with a lot of heart. Each character moment feels remarkably true to the show.

316   One of Us   9.0      
Decent, but stretches a bit. We reach a Juliet saturation point. Amazing ending, though.

317   Catch-22   8.4      
A solid "Losties hangin' out" episode. But the writing is mixed, and Desmond's flashes are quite dumbed down. They still don't entirely trust us with Desmond's content.

318   D.O.C.   7.4      
Subpar episode. Overloaded with plot recapping. Sun's flashback is better than usual, though. We find out Jin's "promotion" was her fault. Great cliffhanger.

319   The Brig   9.1      
Mythology feels a bit off (especially compared to the next ep), but everything with Locke's dad is really intense.

320   The Man Behind the Curtain   9.8      
Jacob's cabin! Ben's backstory! Dharma! There's so much fresh discovery here, so much to chew on, and the execution feels right.

321   Greatest Hits   10.0      
A perfect episode. Emotional and exciting throughout. Basically part 1 of the finale.

322   Through the Looking Glass (Part 1)   10.0      
This is one of those finale Part 1s that has a lot of meat on it. Contrast with 123 and even 223.

323   Through the Looking Glass (Part 2)   10.0      
Layers upon layers of thematic depth here. And that final scene is just transcendently great. It's a clear signal that what comes next — the second half of Lost — will be taking things to a new level.



In order of favoriteness:


10.0   306   I Do
10.0   323   Through the Looking Glass (Part 2)
10.0   321   Greatest Hits
10.0   313   The Man from Tallahassee
10.0   322   Through the Looking Glass (Part 1)
9.8   320   The Man Behind the Curtain
9.6   304   Every Man for Himself
9.6   312   Par Avion
9.5   314   Exposé
9.4   301   A Tale of Two Cities
9.4   308   Flashes Before Your Eyes
9.3   315   Left Behind
9.3   307   Not in Portland
9.1   319   The Brig
9.0   316   One of Us
8.7   302   The Glass Ballerina
8.4   311   Enter 77
8.4   317   Catch-22
8.0   310   Tricia Tanaka Is Dead
7.7   303   Further Instructions
7.4   318   D.O.C.
7.3   305   The Cost of Living
7.0   309   Stranger in a Strange Land
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1907 on: November 19, 2016, 07:34:16 PM »
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Comparing Seasons 1, 2, and 3...


Season 1
Average score: 8.4
Tens: 1

Season 2
Average score: 8.7
Tens: 1

Season 3
Average score: 9.0
Tens: 5
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modage

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1908 on: November 20, 2016, 11:01:11 PM »
+1
I love that you're doing this, and interesting to note that Season 3 is the one where everyone started to get antsy about "where is this going?" and falling off ratings-wise but as you've observed it's arguably the best season of the show. Everyone loves Season 1 (which is great, duh) but it's 2 and 3 where we really start getting into the meat of what made the show great. Deeper characters, deeper mysteries.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1909 on: November 21, 2016, 12:34:11 AM »
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Thanks! And I agree. I remembered Season 2 as stretching along interminably in spots, but on rewatch I had a different experience.

Season 3, for me, reaches heights that the show hadn't achieved before. (With the exception of the Season 2 finale, I suppose, which is amazing.)

I might have been a little hard on Season 1, but I'll stand by it. That season has the most severe stinker episodes, and some of the most flawed mystery elements and weird story shifts that seem like mistakes or corrections. (Like the whole beach vs. caves thing.)

Random observation: I just noticed that Season 2 has an episode called "One of Them" (where they've captured Ben), and Season 3 has "One of Us" (where we learn about Juliet).
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1910 on: November 27, 2016, 12:36:07 AM »
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Wow, Season 5 really takes a while to get going. Five episodes in, the flashes are still happening. At least Sun has stopped trying to be a weird supervillain. I'm sure I burned through these episodes pretty quickly on my original watch, because I can't imagine waiting week to week, feeling the slow grind. I suppose this works to emphasize how difficult it is to get back to the island, so I will accept it as necessary setup.

Random fun thing. Jin gives his wedding ring to John so he can say that Jin's body washed up on shore, "proving" that he's dead. Because why else would Jin give up the ring? Instead, Ben uses this same ring to prove to Sun that Jin is alive and waiting for her. Because why else would Jin give up the ring? It's kind of brilliant.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1911 on: December 16, 2016, 12:33:14 AM »
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Things that happen all the time in Lost:
  • Someone is knocked unconscious. All it takes is a firm whack to the head. Good for cutting to commercial.
  • Upon encountering a recently dead person, a sympathetic character gracefully shuts their eyes.
  • Burials, and demanding that a character be given the dignity of a burial. (Although Lost does consistently have the best impromptu funeral speeches.)
  • Childbirth. Sure it's a theme of the show, but they literally take every possible opportunity to have a childbirth scene. There is nary a child whose birth we haven't witnessed. We see Aaron being born three times: (1) the original, (2) during a time travel flash from Sawyer's POV, and (3) in a Season 6 flash-sideways. There's also: Locke, Ben, Alex, Ethan, Sun's daughter, Desmond's son (which came out of nowhere), Jacob, and MiB. (Surely more I don't remember or have yet to see in my S6 rewatch.)

(Are we there for Alex's birth scene? Honestly don't remember. All that maternity just blends together after a while.)
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1912 on: December 16, 2016, 11:08:45 PM »
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SEASON 4


401   The Beginning of the End   8.3   
Lots of clunky explaining on-island. But the flash forwards are magical. Overall, this is the weakest season premiere.

402   Confirmed Dead   9.4   
Emblematic of Season 4. Many new characters. Things feel fresh and exciting.

403   The Economist   8.2   
On-island antics get a little silly, and the flash-forward mystery feels looser. Still really fun, though. Faraday's discoveries are actually the best part.

404   Eggtown   8.8   
A pretty solid episode. All the character moments feel right. Flash-forward is the highlight — the teases continue to stack up in a masterful way.

405   The Constant   10.0   
There's a reason this episode is so beloved. Combines bonkers science fiction with authentic emotion in the way only Lost can.

406   The Other Woman   7.7   
This one feels a bit off. Some weird character choices. Enjoyable moments, though.

407   Ji Yeon   8.4   
One of the better Sun & Jin episodes. Fun twists. Nothing amazing.

408   Meet Kevin Johnson   9.3   
Michael's best? Everything about this episode is pretty great. Feels like classic Lost.

409   The Shape of Things to Come   9.9   
Ben at his peak. How did they fit so much delicious mythology into one episode?

410   Something Nice Back Home   10.0   
An intense, emotionally perfect episode. Kate & Jack's relationship, present and future, is rendered with subtlety and stunning depth. Underappreciated.

411   Cabin Fever   9.6   
Mythology-rich and propulsive. A dropoff in emotional power, though.

412   There's No Place Like Home (Part 1)    9.1   
Very setup-heavy. Unremarkable except for a few scenes. The return and press conference are suitably surreal. Christian's funeral and the Claire revelation are great.

413   There's No Place Like Home (Part 2)   9.5   
More setup. But things get exciting. Highlights: the Jack & Kate flash-forward, and everything that happens in the Orchid.

414   There's No Place Like Home (Part 3)   10.0   
A classic episode. Full mythology. And the show pushes past sci-fi into fantasy. Wonderfully complex. Cathartic. (Quibbles: a couple plot holes, and future Sun is ridiculous.)



In order of favoriteness:


10.0   414   There's No Place Like Home (Part 3)
10.0   410   Something Nice Back Home
10.0   405   The Constant
9.9   409   The Shape of Things to Come
9.6   411   Cabin Fever
9.5   413   There's No Place Like Home (Part 2)
9.4   402   Confirmed Dead
9.3   408   Meet Kevin Johnson
9.1   412   There's No Place Like Home (Part 1)
8.8   404   Eggtown
8.4   407   Ji Yeon
8.3   401   The Beginning of the End
8.2   403   The Economist
7.7   406   The Other Woman



Updated averages. Season 4 cheats a bit with only 14 episodes, but that's alright.

Season 1
Average score: 8.4
Tens: 1

Season 2
Average score: 8.7
Tens: 1

Season 3
Average score: 9.0
Tens: 5

Season 4
Average score: 9.2
Tens: 3
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1913 on: December 18, 2016, 02:11:30 AM »
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Ugh, man. Currently falling in love with Season 6 all over again. It's so sharp, trading the insanity and goofiness of Season 5 for this really vivid, almost indescribable sense of marching toward fate.

As I've said many times, I love being trolled by a movie or a show, and the Season 6 premiere (LA X) really goes for it. Then it actually accelerates, in a way. We see differences that can't be explained by the plane not crashing, combined with echoes suggesting otherwise (i.e., "but it did happen"). Jack has actual scars from his experiences on the island. One of them is the scar from his appendix surgery, which seems to have suddenly appeared along with a fuzzy dream memory of that event ("I guess I remember"). Oh, and Jack apparently has a son... whose past piano playing also amounts to a dream memory.

It's so wonderfully Lynchian, but it's like... Lindelof-Lynchian — a unique blend that would eventually be fully unleashed in Lindelof's The Leftovers, particularly in the episode "International Assassin." Season 6 is the most audacious season. More than the others, it's an artist's vision, with absolutely no apologies.

The show is also engaging with us on a whole other level. What if the characters' lives are different — improved, in fact — because they blew up the island, and Jacob never manipulated them? It's a quasi-rhetorical question, because of what is eventually revealed, but it serves as a very meta metaphor for what actually did happen. As Jacob and MiB begin to recruit for this final showdown, the show also asks us to pick a side.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1914 on: December 26, 2016, 03:53:22 PM »
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SEASON 5


501   Because You Left   9.5   
Pedal to the floor. This episode does not care if you're struggling to keep up or are not on board. So much to absorb here, and we're just thrown into it, mirroring the experience of the Losties.

502   The Lie   8.4   
Very silly episode with some fantastic scenes.

503   Jughead   8.1   
Things noticeably begin to slow down. Still some compelling revelations.

504   The Little Prince   7.7   
Writing is actually pretty bad in this one. (Except for a classic line from Kate in the first scene.) Feels like the plot should be moving a little faster right now.

505   This Place Is Death   7.9   
Really starting to feel the drag. There is enough happening to carry the show, but you can't help getting antsy here.

506   316   9.7   
Aaaand it's back! This is a well-conceived episode full of mystery and emotion. The Jack & Kate scenes are especially fascinating. Feels like the characters have come to life again.

507   The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham   9.3   
Lots of great mythology and intrigue. Matthew Fox nearly steals the episode with a breathtaking performance in one brief scene.

508   LaFleur   9.2   
Fun episode with some classic moments. Sawyer and Juliet's romance is made completely believable in the space of one episode.

509   Namaste   9.9   
A truly delightful episode. Worlds collide. Jack lets go of leadership and enters his zen phase.

510   He's Our You   8.2   
Feels like the plot is simply moving forward here, and there are a few cliches too many. But still some excellent scenes and moments (interrogation and what happens with Ben).

511   Whatever Happened, Happened   9.4   
Kate flashbacks are underrated, and this one really packs a punch. The show has a lot of thematic confidence right now. Also, Jack 2.0 is significantly better on rewatch. This is next-level character planning.

512   Dead is Dead   8.1   
Clunky. Still has some great stuff. Includes surprisingly clear hints about who John is.

513   Some Like It Hoth   7.9   
This one is not especially significant or subtle. It eventually surprises you with its layers, though.

514   The Variable   9.8   
The mythology makes a triumphant return. Faraday, Eloise, and Widmore raise the stakes.

515   Follow The Leader   10.0   
Full steam ahead. Dizzying plot momentum plus real emotional stakes makes this a winner. Essentially part 1 of the finale.

516   The Incident   10.0   
This 2-part finale is one of the very best episodes of Lost. Beautifully structured. Tense and satisfying from beginning to end. The Jacob content is pure magic. Mythology hits a new peak. Really feels like the show is achieving its potential here.



In order of favoriteness:


10.0   516   The Incident (Parts 1 & 2)
10.0   515   Follow The Leader
9.9   509   Namaste
9.8   514   The Variable
9.7   506   316
9.5   501   Because You Left
9.4   511   Whatever Happened, Happened
9.3   507   The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham
9.2   508   LaFleur
8.4   502   The Lie
8.2   510   He's Our You
8.1   512   Dead is Dead
8.1   503   Jughead
7.9   513   Some Like It Hoth
7.9   505   This Place Is Death
7.7   504   The Little Prince
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Kal

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1915 on: December 27, 2016, 01:04:08 AM »
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I'm definitely interested in discussing why you love Season 6 so much. I re-watched everything last year, and even though I loved the ride, I thought Season 6 and the overall ending was not great.

I thought the introduction of The Temple and all those new characters, the weirdness around Sayid towards the end, Widmore, Dead John Locke, and the entire story and dynamic around Jacob and his brother were not great. In fact, Dead John Locke was one of the first things that bothered me. Terry O'Quinn was John Locke and having him on the show not being himself didn't feel right. I would have rather have the real John Locke at odds with Jack until the very end, just like every moment leading into the end. I mean, it would have been better for John to actually come back to life as another "miracle" than to have him suddenly be this "Man in Black", and all that comes with that. I would have preferred it if Ben and Widmore and their rivalry were also more important to the conclusion of the story.

To me it felt like the writers wrote themselves into a corner with so many mysteries over the seasons, and the way they solved them wasn't satisfying. The Flash-Sideways are brilliant all the way until the end. I didn't like the ending. Anyways, too much to cover and not easy to illustrate all my thoughts here, but definitely worth discussing over beers sometime.

Kal

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1916 on: December 27, 2016, 01:05:02 AM »
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And by the way, I agree with most of your other thoughts and opinions around the other season and episodes, which is why I felt important to mention Season 6 and the ending in particular.

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1917 on: December 27, 2016, 12:01:26 PM »
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Thanks. I'll be happy to get into all of that, now and as I continue with Season 6.

MIB taking on the visage of John Locke did feel viscerally wrong to me, but it's supposed to. It's a cruel thing. Think of it as demonic...

It makes complete sense to me now, and it feels even more right upon rewatch. Terry O'Quinn plays him as a different character, and I find it endlessly engaging. Not-Locke is honest about not being Locke, but he still uses people's associations with John to manipulate them. We see in Richard's flashback that the real MIB is not particularly charming (and in fact fails). John has that charming smile, a strong father figure vibe, and that confidence like he's the king of the jungle.

More practically, though, as said in the show, MIB took on Locke's appearance because Locke is the one person who could get an audience with Jacob. And he set the whole thing up. Remember how Not-Locke sent Richard in to deliver a message to the time-traveling wounded Locke? "You're gonna have to die, John."

I think we have at least one major point of agreement, though — I don't think the episode dealing with Jacob's childhood should have been made. Or it should have been obscured or half-revealed in some way. It just felt weird seeing all of that. We'll see how it goes this time around.

I believe even more strongly now that to view Lost as a series of questions and answers is a shallow way to interpret the show. People should be talking about its endless thematic depth.

so many mysteries over the seasons, and the way they solved them wasn't satisfying

Lost at its core is about fantasy and mysticism. It's not designed to "solve" mysteries like a whodunnit. Its answers, while plentiful, often just lead to more questions. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Kal

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1918 on: December 27, 2016, 02:20:52 PM »
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Lost at its core is about fantasy and mysticism. It's not designed to "solve" mysteries like a whodunnit. Its answers, while plentiful, often just lead to more questions. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

What I meant about the mysteries was that I would have rather leave a lot of open questions for interpretation, than to try to answer them all in an unsatisfactory way.

More practically, though, as said in the show, MIB took on Locke's appearance because Locke is the one person who could get an audience with Jacob. And he set the whole thing up. Remember how Not-Locke sent Richard in to deliver a message to the time-traveling wounded Locke? "You're gonna have to die, John."

I didn't remember that. That actually makes a lot of sense, if he had planned it all along, and sets the whole thing up brilliantly, but not sure if most people picked that up.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Lost (spoilers)
« Reply #1919 on: December 27, 2016, 03:49:24 PM »
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Richard also tells the wounded John that he spoke to another version of him. (Paraphrasing: "Who told you this?"/"You did, John.") So John believed he was following his own wisdom from the future, when he was just being fooled yet again.

That's the tragedy of Locke. There was clearly something unique and important about him, but he had deep, persistent flaws (gullibility, insecurity) that led to his sacrificial death. It was a worthy sacrifice, but Locke himself ultimately served as the object of pity.

Richard showed items including the pocket watch to a young John Locke to see if he was in fact a "chosen one" of some kind. But young John failed the test. Richard later said to Jack (while Sayid disassembled Jughead) that he was never able to verify that there was actually anything "particularly special" about John. But Jack, having already entered his zen phase, vouched for John, perhaps providing that extra push that caused Richard to trust Not-Locke.

It was only after Jacob died that Not-Locke was honest about his identity, because it was revealed, and the disguise had served its purpose. But he still managed to shamelessly exploit it, getting people to follow him even though they knew he was an impostor.

The brilliant hypocrisy of the Man in Black is he does exactly what he accuses Jacob of doing — interfering in the affairs of men, manipulating people, and even forcing them to act against their will. (The temple folks are following him only because they've witnessed the alternative.)

It's no secret that he's a stand-in for the devil. The smoke monster is even called "el diablo" in Ab Aeterno. Elsewhere, "evil incarnate."
"Hunger is the purest sin"

 

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