At last, the dreaded, feared, and much-anticipated Niki and Paolo episode.
Spoilers and more after the break.
Links and Miscellanea:
- An very interesting interview with LOST director Jack Bender. (†Pop Candy) If you’re interested in the cinematic elements of LOST, which have always been at a very high level, I highly recommend this interview.
- Watching television makes you smarter—especially complex shows like LOST. I’ve been saying this for years.
- Michael Emerson ponders the significance of recent revelations about Ben Linus with TV Guide.com.
- This week’s official podcast was particularly informative. Here are a few of the tidbits that we learned:
- It was strongly implied that either Mikhail or Bea Klugh isn’t really dead, probably the former.
- We’ll see the VW bus in an upcoming episode, as well as one additional Volkswagen on the island.
- The “magic box” that Ben spoke of to Locke last week was meant as a metaphor for something else.
- Our perception of the Others will change again by the end of the season back to the kind of people who would string Charlie from a tree.
- The Librarian († Doc Jensen at EW.
- The biggest controversy from last week’s episode involved the submarine ostensibly blowing up and Locke appearing to be drenched from head to toe. The theory circulated by fans is that Locke didn’t actually blow up the sub, just the end of the pier, and that he either submerged it or piloted it farther off shore and swam back to the dock, only to blow up the end of the dock and make it look like the sub was destroyed. I rewatched that part of the episode and found the visual evidence to be inconclusive. (The relevant screen captures can be found here.) Doc Jensen reports, “Intriguingly, Damon Lindelof says: ‘No comment.'” Intriguing indeed. At the very least, I think we’ll eventually find out why Locke was dripping wet.
- And finally, if you’ve been wishing you had a very bizarre and LOST-themed ringtone for your phone, I’ve created this for you. Enjoy.
Observations and Speculations:
- So now we know what TV show Locke was watching in his apartment last week: it was “ExposÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©.” (The dialog, if you recall, included reference to “Crystal” and “the Cobra.”) Although it was widely reported that Billy Dee would play a character named “LaShade,” in fact, he played himself, playing a character named LaShade (aka “The Cobra”). Paolo and Niki’s “script bag” says “ExposÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â© Season 4,” so the show would have been in it’s first season when Locke was watching.
- Niki and Paolo are the least likable characters we’ve met on the island. They make Shannon look good. Even still, it’s not fun to see anyone buried alive.
- Someone tipped me off that there would be a Billy Dee Williams guest spot in this show. I think that was handled as well as could be expected. Still, having Lando Calrissian guest star seems more like Heroes than LOST.
- The diamonds were hidden inside a matrioshka doll. Matroishka dolls are often referred to as metaphors, much in the same way that onions are, meaning that some things have many layers that must be peeled away. In fact, this episode works pretty much like a matroiskha doll, with the layers of flashbacks fitting into what we already know and remember about the show. Matroishka dolls also appeared in the credits of the John Le Carre TV miniseries “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” “with the fourth doll having no face…the unknown mole, a spy who’s buried in the deepest.”
- Possible continuity error: the ping pong table has a much better net in this episode than it had a few weeks ago.
- Dead characters who appear in this episode during flashbacks: Shannon, Boone, Arzt, Ethan. Interestingly, the Others weren’t responsible for any of these deaths.
- I doubt that a “medusa spider” actually exists. Arzt calls it “lactrodectus regina.” Lactrodectus is the genus that the black widow is in. “Regina” would mean queen.
- The medusa spider introduces an interesting element into the show. Namely, we now know that someone can appear to be dead—maybe even fake their own death—but not really die. I’m thinking of Mikhail here. Maybe he was telling the truth when he said that the sonic perimeter fence doesn’t work anymore.
- When Artz says, “The pigs are walking” in response to Kate’s explanation about the guns in the case, this is a reference to George Orwell’s Animal Farm. At the end of the book, the pigs take over the animal society, start walking on two legs and move into the farmer’s house, the final step in their “some animals are more equal than others” transition to power.
- Favorite Hurley line: “No offense, dude, but as far as superpowers go, yours is kind of lame.”
- We don’t know for sure that Paolo and Niki are dead at the end of the episode. But we can hope.
I thought this episode was just okay. It was a fun diversion, and (in a way) a nice nostalgic stroll through select moments from prior episodes, but it didn’t really amount to much, and didn’t contain nearly as much revelation as I expected and hoped for. In the end, I’m not sure it was worth introducing these two new characters. We know nothing more about why the others know so much about the survivors than we did before (other than that Ben was monitoring them via the Pearl Station, but we could have guess that much).