“Some Like It Hoth” Recap and Analysis …
Previously, on Lost: I have no idea what happened previously, because Christian Shephard’s voice didn’t come on and say those magical words to introduce the previous clips. So let’s see if I can remember everything that went down! Previously, our tempus fugitives, with the help of the Sayid 4000™, escaped the clutches of the evil Kelvin, who you may recall was resurrected from the dead by the ghost of Naomi using a formula developed at the Arrow station to form an undead army and was sent back in time to find the sub, get off the Island and kill John Locke while he was still a child. Whew. Now on Hydra Island, Jack and Kate have reconciled and asked Sawyer to wed them using his powers as a constable in the Dharma Initiative. During the ceremony, the castaways were ambushed by bionic polar bears, led by a team of robotic animal wranglers that had held up in the Hydra station after a particularly nasty rabies outbreak. Kate managed to give them all the slip, and using her master tracking skills, circled around and took the lead wrangler hostage using only a soup spoon. Jack cried, and basically didn’t say anything completely stupid for a full hour. The last episode ended with a 15-minute-long segment where Juliet first baked bread, then worked on a gunmetal grey 1965 Pontiac GTO in a pony tail and tank top.
I think that about catches us up.
This week, on Lost: There comes a time in every season of Lost when there’s sort of a filler episode. This be that episode. There are probably many of you out there who will disagree with me, and that’s fine. So you like Miles and think it’s cool he got a backstory. Yeah, sure, it’s cool. But did we really learn anything we hadn’t already figured out at the beginning of the season? Here’s my recap of the episode in three minutes or less:
Miles hears dead people. Oh, and Pierre Chang/Marvin Candle/Edgar Halliwax is his dad. His dad won the bowling championship against Gary Brooks over on CBS last week, in case you missed it.
Awwww, Dr. Chang reads to a young Miles. Did you see that the book is a story about a polar bear? That tickles me
Hurley is funny. Oh, and he’s also writing The Empire Strikes Back, with a couple improvements, to save Lucas the trouble. Hurley advises Miles about talking to his father: “In Empire, Luke found out Vader was his father, but instead of putting away his lightsaber and talking about it, he overreacted and got his hand cut off. I mean, they worked it out eventually, but at what cost? Another Death Star was destroyed, Boba Fett got eaten by the Sarlacc and we got the Ewoks. It all could’ve been avoided if they’d just, you know, communicated. And let’s face it. The Ewoks sucked, dude.”
Hurley writes about Chewbacca shaking his “fury fist in the sky” in his Dharma-branded composition book. Those Dharma folk were geniuses at branding.
Kate makes another mistake that could cost lives.
“So, yeah Roger … I wouldn’t worry about Ben, he’s probably just out doing what boys do – you know, playing around in the basement of a Temple or something. I mean, not that I know anything and stuff.”
The Swan is under construction. And apparently, electromagnetic bursts are periodically driving metal tooth fillings up through workers’ heads, killing them instantly.
“Hey, Al, could you hurry it up with the serial numbers on that hatch plate? I’m late for my concert with AC/DC.”
Juliet continues to be awesome and stunning and stuff.
I like my coffee tall, with a touch of sugar and a lot of blonde.
Daniel Faraday returns to the Island. And he looks like he’s got a lot of stuff figured out, as evidenced by the shit-eating grin plastered on his face.
“Hey, Miles. Long time no see.” Cue the thonk!
And … yup, that just about covers it.
Although this episode was funny, and fairly solid, it felt a bit out of place within the context of the Lost realm. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the pacing, story and overall atmosphere was just … off. And why, after all this time, are we finally getting to know Miles? I’m assuming it’s because his “ability” is going to come into play somewhere down the road, but if not, this was a total waste of time, in my opinion. I feel for his character, I do, but this episode didn’t really make me want to care about him much more than when I first saw him step into the jungle with Charlotte and Daniel. I guess he suffers a bit from “Tailie” syndrome – since he hasn’t been around since the beginning, he just doesn’t seem to be fully stuck in the thick of things. It’s interesting to note that two of the show’s strongest characters could have suffered the same fate, but were saved by good writing and fantastic acting – I’m speaking, of course, about Juliet and Desmond.
IT ALL ADDS UP
Speaking of Desmond, did you all catch the title of the next full episode – the 100th episode, by the way? It’s called “The Variable.” Now, I’m assuming from the previews that it centers around Dan being back and all hell breaking loose when Radzinsky and some Dharma punks with big rifles go on a manhunt, but the title has my wheels turning. During one of the time jumps at the beginning of the season, Dan stops by the Swan to give Desmond a message – to go find his mum and tell her what’s going on. Dan justifies this by stating that Desmond “is uniquely and miraculously special” and that the usual temporal laws aren’t always applicable to Des. When Desmond’s mind came unstuck in “The Constant,” Dan was able to guide him back by telling him that he needed a constant source – something that was the same in every time period in which Des was jumping about. He called this, of course, the Constant.
Now, in any equation where there is a constant, there must also be a variable – something that is representative of the unknown factor, often the factor that is trying to be solved. This variable is just as it sounds – something that can change and represent many things, depending the terms of the equation. In many ways during Lost, and in many of the things Dan has said, Desmond fits the full definition of a Variable in context with the temporal happenings on the Island. Of course, I didn’t see Desmond anywhere in those previews, but they don’t always show everything. Whether “The Variable” really has anything to do with Des or not remains to be seen in a couple of weeks. Personally, I hope to hell Desmond is back. I’ve missed him.
BACK TO SCHOOL
Did you all notice that most of the easter egg fun in this week’s episode occurred in the class room? No, really, I’ll show you, come along.
Here we see Jack in between smoke breaks, cleaning the kids’ classroom. Can you all see what’s up on the board, there? Look closely, some of the symbols might look familiar. Let’s get closer.
Yup, the little Dharma kiddies are studying the evolution of written Egyptian language – hieroglyphs. Pretty cool, huh?
I’m pretty sure that poster behind Roger’s head says “DHARMA science is FAR OUT.” This, too, tickles me.
I knew, someday, somehow, that I would get to use this drink recipe for Down the Hatch. I was counting on Hurley to really bring out some full-scale geekery, and this week, he delivered – big time. And now, without further ado, put your blast shields down and clear your consciousness, because I’m about to share a recipe with you – a recipe that will convince you that all these other drinks… these are not the drinks you’re looking for.
OLD JEDI MIND TRICK
- 1 ounce cinnamon schnapps
- 1 ounce Irish cream
- 1 ounce melon liqueur (Midori)
- Enough rum to get the midichlorians churning
Layer the schnapps, Irish cream and melon liquer in a cocktail glass with some ice. Remember your padawan training, and try to do it without using your hands. Close your eyes and visualize the liquids remaining separate. Depending on whether you are master or apprentice, top the drink with an appropriate amount of rum. After you’ve had a couple, most Jedi masters agree that it’s probably best just to leave the lightsaber turned off. Enjoy, and may the Force … well, you know.
OKAY, I WAS WRONG, IT HAPPENS
So, back in 2004, before Miles hopped on the Kahana with Keamy and his band of psychos, he was rushed into a van by some mask-wielding mystery men in the company of a dude named Bram. We were introduced to Bram last week, as he was one of the other Others that followed Ilana and were protecting the big silver box du Pandora. In the van, Bram tells Miles that he should not return to the Island, because he’s not ready. He confirms this by asking Miles “what lies in the shadow of the statue?” just as Ilana did last week to Lapidus. We also learn that Bram is not in league with Widmore, as per my speculation in last week’s analysis. Okay, so I was wrong. I still have the Novikov self-consistency principle, the judgment of Ol’ Smokey, ley lines and a whole slew of other things from seasons past. I’m still batting above average.
So, if Bram, Ilana and Co. are not with Widmore, who are they with? Obviously, they’re with the Island. Are they from another group of Others who were previously on the Island? Are they the spared sons and daughters of Dharma Initiative folks that were gassed? I assumed that they might be the cult of Widmore, as he returned to the mainland, amassed a fortune and has been trying to get back to/protect the Island ever since. Could they possibly be another sect of the Others, secretly formed by Richard as a failsafe in case of possible catastrophe or war? It’s clear that there is a war brewing, and we’ll start to see the sides shake out before too long. There will be a battle for the Island, the classic showdown between dark and light. Right now, everyone except Locke seems to be looking fairly dusky, in my opinion.
Oh, and another thing – it’s interesting that Ilana and co. are using a code phrase to differentiate between the enlightened and those who aren’t in on the cosmic secret of the Island. We saw that same thing with Desmond in the Swan when we first met him. As I joked last week, he asked Locke “What did one snowman say to another snowman?” Admittedly, that little phrase isn’t quite as deep and foreboding as that which asks of the statue, but they are code phrases with a correct response. The most common groups to use such a phrase are intelligence organizations, including military intelligence and covert branches of the government, such as the CIA. Before being recruited by Dharma, Kelvin seemed to hold an intelligence role with the US miitary, and he later uses the code phrase when Desmond arrives on the Island. Was this a phrase that was put into use by some of the military personnel recruited by Dharma? Does this necessarily mean that Ilana and co. could be a military faction of some sort? Of course not, but it’s something to consider. More than likely, the code phrasing is something attributed more to the Dharma Initiative than anything else, so this might point to Ilana and her group as being remnants of the original initiative.
At any rate, the answer to the current code phrase seems to be preoccupying many a Lost fan’s brain. My friend Rebecca and I, in a recent Twitter session, seemed to think we’ve pretty much figured it out, though:
Rebecca: Do you know what lies in the shadow of the statue?
Me: Probably a Starbucks, if I had to go out on a limb.
YOU’LL NEVER HAVE TO WATCH THE SHOW NAKED AGAIN – UNLESS YOU WANT TO
Last week I promised a special announcement, and this week I’m going to make good on my promise. Joel and I have been cooking up some cool swag for HobotTrashcan and Down the Hatch over the past month. That’s right, gentle readers, you can now purchase an official Down the Hatch t-shirt, jersey, polo or hoodie, with the Hobo logo, in various colors, and with some of the favorite sayings right from this here feature.
You can start shopping by typing the numbers into the command line of your Dharmatel relay computer, or by simply clicking this handy link right here. The shop is just getting started, and we’ll be rolling out more shirts with more sayings in the next few weeks, along with some awesome adult swag such as thongs and boxers. Keep an eye on the store, or you can follow me on Twitter or see more news in future features.
Remember, the proceeds of each shirt go directly to feeding the hobos. We’ll probably buy sandwiches with it, but I can’t promise a bottle of wine or two won’t be purchased, in the long run.
Well, that’s it for this week, friends. It was a good, low-key week, which I desperately needed. Next week’s episode is a special recap show, which I may or may not watch, and may or may not write anything about in the feature. Whereas during the past gap in episodes this season, I took the time to cover some issues with the statue, etc. in “A Little Intermezzo,” I haven’t committed to the idea of another interim feature for next week. If any of you have any revelations or questions before then and that seems like worthy topics for discussion, I’ll gladly put together a feature just for those. So, in the meantime, get those great wheels a-turning, and if you have an epiphany, tell me something good.
Chris Kirkman is a graphic designer/photographer/journalist/geek extraordinaire with way too many Bruce Campbell movies in his library. Michael Emerson, Lost’s Benjamin Linus, called Kirkman’s recaps “one of the smartest articles I’ve ever read about what goes on on our show.” Kirkman is still hoping that Lost will end when Bob Newhart wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette, complaining of a strange, strange dream. You can contact him at email@example.com.