LOST: “Tricia Tanaka is Dead”

Another week, another episode. This one brings us back to the beach and back into Hurley’s jinxed past.

Spoilers and more after the break.

Links and Miscellanea:

  • USA Today had a nice set of articles on LOST today, focusing on the cast members who haven’t been seen much this season. Key quote from Naveen Andrews (Sayid): “Even though I like getting paid for doing nothing, it is nice occasionally to work.” We’ll all be glad to see more of Sayid, Locke and Hurley, in particular. This article has more, including some personal stuff I didn’t know, like the fact that Naveen Andrews is in a long-term relationship with Barbara Hershey. Here’s a sidebar about upcoming character flashbacks.
  • Here’s a good interview with Jorge Garcia from TV Guide. I like reading Garcia interviews because it’s apparent that he’s as much a LOST fan as anyone.
  • I haven’t checked out the LOST jigsaw puzzles yet, though I did see some in Target over the holidays. If you don’t want to be bothered with putting the pieces together, here’s a link to some of the things you’ll find out if you do. (Some spoilers included, as well as explication of the infamous blast door map.)
  • The official podcast went on semi-hiatus this week (they replayed some stuff released earlier with Matthew Fox talking about his tattoos, cut with some audio from last week’s episode), which seemignly substantiates the rumors that the production team is up against it in getting this season’s episodes completed.

Observations and Speculations:

  • The song playing in Young Hurley’s radio at the first of the episode, and then again in the bus’ 8-track player at the end of the episode is Three Dog Night’s “Shambala.” To find significance in the lyrics of this song, one need look no further than the chorus: “Ah, ooh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.” It’s the perfect song to be playing in a “hippie car.” The song is also, like so many other DHARMA things, linked to Eastern mysticism. According to Wikipedia: “The song is about the mythical kingdom of Shambala, said to be hidden somewhere within or beyond the peaks of the Himalayas and mentioned in various ancient texts including the Kalachakra Tantra and ancient texts of Tibetan Buddhism. The lyrics refer to a situation where kindness and cooperation are universal, joy and good fortune abound, and psychological burdens are lifted.” You know, hippy stuff. It also leads to speculation about whether the island was intended to be some mythical kingdom of cooperation.

  • Other notable things about that bus: Although it’s clearly a VW, it has a DHARMA insignia on the front. A light on the dashboard light does have the VW logo, however. (Apparently, Hanso was big on rebranding.) And that DHARMA logo appeared to be generic and not tied to any particular station. That’s unusual. Either that, or it’s a Pearl Station logo.) However, the beer in the bus and Roger’s uniform both bear the Swan Station insignia.
  • It was nice to see the return of Vincent. You’ve got to wonder why the lab decided to share his dessicated disembodied arm with his old friends at the beach, but no matter. Hurley took some solace from the fact that the hand was clutching a white rabbit’s foot, able to overlook the fact that the rabbit’s foot didn’t prove to be very lucky for the last guy who had it.
  • The rabbit’s foot was one of two apparent references to the titles of earlier episodes. Episode 1.5 was “White Rabbit.” Episode 1.3, “Tabula Rasa,” was alluded to when Kate told Sawyer that they could start over with a “blank slate.”
  • And what exactly was it that Sawyer was supposed to apologize to Kate for, anyway? Not going back for Jack? Releasing Karl? Both of those things are arguably justified. It was funny that Sawyer was unable to follow the advice that he gives to Jin later in the episode about the three things to tell a woman.
  • The dart that Sawyer stepped on was most likely from the dartboard from down in the hatch. Of course, Sawyer and Kate don’t know yet that the hatch is no more, so they have no idea what a random singed dart is doing in the middle of the jungle.
  • Note that Niki is wearing a red shirt in this episode, suggesting she’s not long for this world. Another random unknown brunette was also wearing a redshirt during the reunion sequence.
  • Just as a review: Yes, Randy Nations, Hurley’s former manager and the manager-to-be of the ill-fated Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Shack, is the same Randy that was Locke’s manager in Locke’s first episode (1.4 “Walkabout”). Hurley purchased the packaging company where Locke worked, and most likely had Randy put in a management position because he felt responsible for him. Also, Hurley mentioned Mr. Clucks getting hit by a meteorite in an earlier episode, so that wasn’t knew. It was still funny, though.
  • I like that Kate went off looking for Danielle Rousseau, and it makes a certain amount of sense. What I don’t understand is how she knew where to look. The last time we had contact with Rousseau, she had picked up camp and headed who knows where.
  • Unlike Bai Ling last week, I thought that Cheech Marin was really pretty good in this week’s episode.
  • Roger, the Work Man, the DHARMA janitor: It’s interesting to think that there are blue-collar types among the DHARMA folks. That bus doesn’t look well-equipped for off-roading, though, and we’ve yet to see any roads on the island.
  • This is the second time a Lost survivor has visited a psychic (the third if you include the healer that Rose visited in her episode). Claire’s psychic was a fraud until he met her. Hurley’s psychic was a fraud from the get-go.
  • Inside the bus, there was a lot of trash and the blueprints for a dirt switchback road. That will likely become important in a future episode.
  • I liked Charlie probably more than I ever have when he said he’d ride shotgun with Hurley.

I really liked this episode. I know a lot of people don’t care for Hurley’s episodes—they tend to be lighter and to not move the main plot much—but I always enjoy them.

Next week, and in the next few weeks, we should be getting lots of mythology. So please, show a little bit more patience. I, for one, still think this is the best show on television.

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14 thoughts on “LOST: “Tricia Tanaka is Dead”

  1. The place Kate went was the net where Ben was caught by Rousseau. She picks up the net just as Locke shows up.

    Cheech looked pretty bad to me and the kid playing the young Hurley didn’t look like him at all.

    I loved both of the previous Hurley episodes which arguably were pretty important for clues. This one wasn’t nearly as good for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on.

  2. I enjoy my Wednesday night TV. This show is just simply excellent.

    I’ve liked the Hurley character, maybe because he says “dude” all the time and it reminds me of my youth in California….but I like his character. Now, I’m trying to remember the previous Hurley episodes…in this one he’s about to head out to Australia, just when does his mother die? (or does she, I forget…)

  3. “The place Kate went was the net where Ben was caught by Rousseau. She picks up the net just as Locke shows up.”

    That’s exactlhy right. I forgot about the net.

  4. I really liked this episode. I liked the dark humor, I liked Cheech, I liked Tricia Tanaka and the gold carved rotating Jesus statue. The interaction between Hurley, Jin and Sawyer was hilarious, and Charlie got to be cooler than he has been since the first season.

  5. Yeah, I’m really liking this Sawyer.

    And Sun looked especially hot in her fleeting seconds of screen time.

  6. Great episode. I love that with all the clamor to move the plot forward, they still have the courage to put together these self-contained ‘life on the island’ episodes. I could tell from the outset that this would be one of those, but it scared me to think it might go in the direction of the Sawyer-tracking-down-and-filling-the-tree-frog episode, as opposed to the better “golfing on teh island” installment. Thankfully, this was much better executed than the former.

    I agree that the meteorite was really funny. As was Hurley’s line to Jin about the head falling back into the van- “we’ll get that later.” Also, you have to love Sawyer’s nicknames this time around– Snuffy, Oliver Twist, Jiminy Cricket, and “somebody’s hooked on phonics!”

    The big problem with the episode was the dramatic climax, in which Hurley needs to be going approximately 80 miles per hour to jump start a van, and in which he is unable to brake or to steer until the motor is running. That was really contrived– he could have jump started the engine with the first initial push that got him to the crest of the hill. Also, I like the idea that everyone on the beach is starting to get scared, but I wish they would have showed that, instead of just having Hurley explicate it to deadLibby.

    Lost is just great TV. I stick around for the plot and mythos, but I definitely can’t complain about these quality self-contained character episodes. And nice to see the return of the numbers.

    By the way, shouldn’t Sun be showing yet?

  7. Ryan, in Island time it’s only been a couple of months since they crashed. Which they aren’t terribly consistent on – look at Sawyer’s bullet wound. Although perhaps that is due to the Island’s miraculous healing abilities as found in the older black lady with cancer or Locke’s leg wound.

  8. As a point of reference, it’s only been about seven or eight days since the Triangle were captured by the Others and taken to Hydra Station. This whole season will probably only take about three or four weeks of screen time.

  9. Yeah Ryan, that car thing really bugged me too. I also hate it when a car is moving at a certain speed, you see the distance it is from its doom and calculate the time it would take until it hits it, but of course for dramatic reasons it keeps backing up. It’s like Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

  10. C’mon, guys, do you really want the hippie van to start after rolling down the hill twenty yards? How much fun is that?

    I thought this was a fun episode. It was refreshing to see the cast work as an ensemble.

    Personally, I think too much Jack makes for a dull show. He’s just so exhaustingly earnest and intense.

    To me it makes logical sense that in a jungle environment the road would grow over pretty fast. I’m now hoping that our little castaways drive that mini-van into battle somewhere with somebody.

  11. Can I confess I always had to get my old truck rolling pretty good to compression start it. I have one memory of accidentally draining the battery while camping outside of Zion’s. Picture three people pushing while I repeatedly try to start it. Yet on steep hills it starts easily.

    I do agree that the rock bit was silly given that almost certainly a van that old didn’t have power steering.

  12. “I also hate it when a car is moving at a certain speed, you see the distance it is from its doom and calculate the time it would take until it hits it, but of course for dramatic reasons it keeps backing up. It’s like Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

    Interesting (but extremely trivial note): Monty Python and the Holy Grail was quoting the short film, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek” (which was also broadcast as an episode of The Twilight Zone). The “Occurrence at Owl Creek” book was one of the books found in the hatch’s library.

    All this trivia will get me nowhere.

  13. What would a lost thread be without me complaining about something? 😉

    Don’t get me wrong, I liked the episode. HOWEVER, the previews made it sound like there was going to be this ground-breaking revelation which everybody would be talking about the next day. It should be clear to all that such was not the case.

    It just seems to me that LOST previews are like getting letters from Ed McMahon in the mail. (“You may have already won millions of dollars!”) Talk about over-selling and under-delivering.

    Okay, I’m done complaining, and I’m sorry if I’m bugging anyone with this.

  14. Jeff, you’re right. The promos are annoying and misleading. The creative team does not have any input in how the show is marketed, though. Best to just tune out what’s said in the promos.

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